"Hello, I'm Natalie Dubose of Ferguson, Missouri. I'm a small business owner with a cake shop and a bakery dream." So begins a GoFundMe page started yesterday by Dubose, who owns Natalie's Cakes and More, which opened just a few months ago. The shop has since been vandalized by the riots and demonstrations that have taken over the city of Ferguson in light of several court decisions regarding the shooting of an unarmed black teenager.
Dubose told CNN, "If I can't open my doors every morning, I can't feed my kids in the evening..." She had this message for protesters: "Just don't burn my shop down, don't destroy it." After the riots, she detailed the damage online: "My main windows were smashed and bakery damaged. I'm beside myself, but with the holidays, can't stop working." The generally enthusiastic baker has kept baking, but has not been able to afford to fix her broken windows. Enter GoFundMe and the generosity of thousands of Americans, including some celebrity names. Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Brandi Glanville (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) have chimed in on Twitter, pushing Dubose's fund over its goal just a day after it launched.
Show LOVE! Support working mom & bakery owner. Her shop was damaged last night in the riots. http://t.co/nfeWwZcLXW Go Natalie!— Brandi Glanville (@BrandiGlanville) November 26, 2014
2,834 people have contributed to the fund. Some of the messages they're leaving are sweet ("Love beats back hate every single time. Continue to walk in the light. Praying for you.") and some are sassy, like this one from T. Queen Jr.: "Please take the money and move away from all those crazy people in Ferguson so you'll be safe." But perhaps something sweet and warm from the oven is exactly what the people in Ferguson need right now.
Dubose plans to rebuild and remain in Ferguson. Watch her on the local Fox station, below: