“They will never know how much this means to me.” Those words from Kathryn Thomson following an unforgettable trip and surprise reunion at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
For more than 10-years Thomson has worked at the Acorn coffee shop at Elon University in Elon, NC. Not only does she serve up warm beverages but also provides warm kindness to thousands of students passing through her life each day. Warm conversation, southern charm and genuine interest in the students, Thomson is loved by all she touches.
On most nights Thomson listens to young people share their hopes and dreams, but late one evening in the coffee shop she shared her dream with two complete strangers, Taylor Zisholtz, a junior from Philadelphia, PA, and Lucy Smith-Williams, a freshman from Gainesville, FL. Someday she hoped to take her son, his wife and two grandchildren to Walt Disney World. A tough task for someone working two jobs to make ends meet. In an act of unforgettable kindness, the two students hearing her wish turned to social media and the Elon University community to raise money for Thomson’s dream to come true. Quickly the story became viral on social media channels. Reaching beyond North Carolina borders, the story was picked up by national media. Soon people from around the world were donating to make Thomson’s dream a reality. Within weeks Zisholtz and Smith-Williams were able to deliver the great news that Thomson would be able to take her family to Disney.
This past weekend Thomson and her family traveled to Florida for an unforgettable family vacation. They experienced all four theme parks, a special meet and greet with Mickey Mouse and with a little Disney magic, a surprise reunion with the two college students who worked to make this happen.
Standing in front of Cinderella Castle, with a beautiful North Carolina accent, Thomson said, “It’s a dream come true.”
Following the principals of Cinderella herself, three strangers united by courage and kindness.
Three lifelong friends sharing an unforgettable experience at Walt Disney World Resort.