A mum who was trolled for setting up a GoFundMe page to take her children to Disney World has defied critics and reached her 5k target.
Mum-of-two Nikki Smith created the page with a goal of raising £5,000 to cover the cost of a holiday to the popular resort.
‘I have been blessed with the most amazing, kind, loving and caring daughters, they are my best friends and my life,’ she said on the page of her 10 and 12-year-old daughters.
‘They are so helpful, animal loving and rays of sunshine, I want to show them how much I appreciate and love them, I work 2 nights a week at our local hospital as this is all I am able to do ATM because of childcare and contract hours.
‘They watch a lot of YouTube videos where children are surprised by their parents with a holiday to disneyworld and they even get tears in their eyes watching it, they love anything Disney and I know that I would never be able to get them there on my own, because of bills etc, by the time I save up they would be to old to enjoy it 🙁
‘We lost 2 very special people in our lives these past couple of years and this really would give them so much to look forward to, please help me to make my daughters dreams come true xxxx’
Image: GoFundMe/Nikki Smith
Initially the mum only raised £10 and received a barrage of abuse from online trolls who called her ‘selfish’ and said she was ‘living on a different planet’.
But after re-launching the page, Nikki has managed to raise the funds to go on holiday with her two daughters, writing ‘Always BELIEVE in MAGIC!!’ on her charity page.
One kind stranger left the mum-of-two the generous donation of £2,198 towards her magical trip, while another gave £80 and said, ‘Don’t stress about the haters… hope you make it have a great time.’
Over 100 people have now donated to help Nikki take her family on holiday, many of whom left sweet messages.
One GoFundMe user wrote, ‘If my 10-15 bucks can help make some child’s dream come true then I am all for it. Take your girls to Disney and have fun.’
Whilst another said, ‘I hope you make it! My daughter is now 30 our Disney memories are precious. Wave to Mickey for me!’
Nikki was forced to remove her original page as it was met with backlash, with many saying that every parent would love to take their child to Disney World but that crowdfunding was not the appropriate way to pay for such a trip.
‘So free holidays to Disney because instead of saving, begging the public for money is the way forward?’ one Facebook user who shared the page said.
‘Put a sob story on of everyday life and see how far it gets,’ another agreed. ‘Some people live on a different planet, who wouldn’t like to take there kids to Disney world but can’t because of bills’.
‘Think this as to be the most selfish thing av heard avent we got kids on go fund pages what need all the help they can get with life threatening illnesses an your arsed about taking your kid Disney world get a grip!!!!’ a third commented.
After her story was picked up by national newspapers Nikki felt compelled to release her own statement.
‘I feel this to be the only way I can speak out, I am not a bad person and I’m not asking for any money,’ she wrote in an update.
‘Yes I should have thought about it more before I opened it but it’s too late now.’
‘I love my children and my job, I’m a carer and I havent been able to get anymore hours at work, nights are not easy to come by, I do try. The press have made me out to be a awful person when I was only thinking of my children and making them happy.’
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Nikki admitted that while she’s used similar pages for events like Race for Life, she wished she had looked into GoFundMe more.
‘I thought this section of the website was for funding hopes, dreams and wishes, I looked in the category and a lot were doing similar things,’ she explained. ‘Also I know people who have funded their own holidays this way. I never meant to upset anyone.’