It's exciting to have a viral story about college students that is not another hazing scandal. Millennials can be generous too, and they use the internet for good sometimes!
Elon University students Lucy Smith-Williams and Taylor Zisholtz wanted to honor the caring cafe worker at their campus coffee shop, so they rallied the community together to make her dream of going to Disney World come true. Kathryn Thompson has worked at the campus's Acorn Cafe for over a decade, with shifts ending at 2 AM. Smith-Williams and Zisholtz set up a GoFundMe campaign to help send Thompson and her family to the Happiest Place on Earth.
"I really took to her warmth," Zisholtz says of Thompson, "She was very invested in where we were from, what we were doing, and when she said ‘It’s my dream,’ I thought, 'Well there’s 6,000 people here with at least a dollar. We could probably make this happen.'" They managed to raise half of the fund in just three days, and GoFundMe employee John Jin was so moved by the story that he pitched in $1000 himself.
Thompson has been such a staple of the Elon campus that alumni donated as well.
According to the Elon Pendulum, "It has been Thompson’s dream to go to Disney World because she’s always wanted to take her autistic grandson to meet his favorite character, Mickey Mouse." She told the paper, "I’m excited just to be going. To see my grandson’s eyes light up when he sees Mickey. "
Now we're crying too. Good job, Elon Phoenixes!