A mother who sparked outrage when she asked wellwishers to donate money so she could take her children to Florida has shared pictures of their ‘dream’ holiday.
Nikki Smith, 33, was branded a ‘beggar’ and ‘scrounger’ after she asked for £5,000 to take her two daughters to Orlando on charity donation site GoFundMe.
The mother-of-two was forced to take the page down after raising just £10 and receiving a torrent of abuse – before defiantly setting up another fundraiser.
Eventually raising more than £7,000, Ms Smith and her children were able to stay in a Disney World hotel for two weeks over the summer, visit the Orlando theme park and spend ‘remaining money in gift shops and on souvenirs’.
Nikki Smith posted pictures of herself and her children in front of Cinderella’s castle in Disney World
The campaign page – originally launched in March – was re-activated, and the hospital worker eventually raised some £7,328
Ms Smith raised more than £7,000 after setting up a new fundraising page and was able to take her children to Orlando (pictured)
Nikki Smith was branded a ‘beggar’ and ‘scrounger’ after pleading for £5,000
Asking for donations, Ms Smith said she couldn’t afford to work more hours ‘because of childcare’ and wanted to ‘show them how much I appreciate and love them’.
One outraged man hit back: ‘PAY FOR YOUR OWN HOLIDAYS!!!’
Ms Smith, from Coalpit Heath, Bristol, later issued a grovelling apology and said: ‘I regret putting it up now – I wish I had never thought about it.’
But the campaign page – originally launched in March – was re-activated, and the hospital worker eventually raised some £7,328.
She said money raised would allow her and her daughters to stay in a hotel in Disney World for two weeks, ‘with any remaining money after booking the hotel, flights and park tickets..used for them as spending money in the gift shops and for souvenirs.’
Posting on the site, the mother-of-two, whose girls are aged 10 and 12, said: ‘Thank you Thank you, Thank you! You have no idea what this means to me’
Ms Smith has since shared photos of the holiday with those who pledged money
Posting on the site, the mother-of-two, whose girls are aged 10 and 12, wrote after the holiday: ‘To all of the wonderful kind people who donated to my campaign , I wanted you to know we made it to Disneyworld!
‘We have been back a few days and the memories we have made will fill us with smiles and happiness for all time.
‘What an adventure, you have blessed my daughters lives with your kindness and every single one of you who helped make my girls dreams come true, I owe you everything. [sic]’
The page had been shared 21,000 times since it was first started on February 26, and the money was pledged by 127 people.
Writing on the page, Ms Smith said she couldn’t afford to work more hours ‘because of childcare’ and wanted to ‘show them how much I appreciate and love them’. Pictured, her girls enjoying their holiday