“Natalie's Cakes and More” was one of the many small businesses in Ferguson, Missouri, destroyed and looted after a grand jury found there was no probable cause to charge police Officer Darren Wilson with any crime for fatally shooting African-American teenager Michael Brown.
Owner Natalie Dubose, a single mother of two who had spent all her life savings to open this bakery in June, was understandably distraught. However, something really incredible happened to her when she turned to the Internet for help.
“I'm baking today," Dubose told CNNMoney, a day after the violence erupted on Monday. "We have orders to go out for Thanksgiving. I can't tell the people -- I won't tell the people -- that I'm canceling.”
“I am a single mom, a mother of two," she added. "This is everything that I own. I can't walk away from it. I just got to start up and start baking again."
Upon learning Dubose’s dream shop was vandalized and how she was determined to complete pending Thanksgiving orders, her neighbors and some local residents came to her support.
Subsequently, not one but two GoFundMe campaigns were posted on Tuesday to help Dubose raise money to repair her shop. Donations flowed in and within a matter of hours both the pages surpassed the goal of raising $20,000.
“I'm overwhelmed by the amazing generosity I'm receiving,” Dubose stated on the crowdfunding website. “The love, attention, support, the many, many people stopping by to say hello, the offers of assistance, the letters, the anonymous donations, the lovely letters, flowers, telephone calls, media support, and the support of the people of Ferguson.”
The separate GoFundMe pages have now been merged into one and at the time of writing this post, around $203,845 had been raised by thousands of people. Well-wishers are also leaving messages of support on the bakery’s official Facebook account.