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College can be overwhelming; between living away from home for the first time and being responsible for yourself at all times, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed--which is why the little kindnesses of everyday life are so much more important. For Taylor Zisholtz and Lucy Smith-Williams, students at Elon University, that daily dose of warmth and kindness came from a cafeteria worker named Kathryn Thompson.
One slow evening at the Acorn Coffee Shop on the Elon campus, Thompson struck up a conversation with Zisholtz and Smith-Williams, who were sitting on opposite sides of the room. “Even just in the few seconds, you could see how warm she was,” Zisholtz told The Pendulum. When she heard that Smith-Williams was from Florida, Thompson enthusiastically asked about Disney and how long it would take to drive from the college town to the amusement park. She revealed to the two girls that it was her dream to take her family to the iconic park.
Moved by the warmth of the cafeteria worker, Zisholtz crossed the room to Smith-Williams’s table and the two started planning a big surprise for Thompson: a fully funded trip to Disney World for her and her family. They calculated the cost, and set up a GoFundMe page. Within three days, half the cost was already paid for. When the trip was fully funded, they nervously set a reveal date and were careful to keep it from the media so the surprise wouldn’t be ruined.
Watch the video below to see the moment the two girls reveal to Thompson what they have done and try not to cry. We bet you can’t!