Ferguson bakery owner raises $158,000 on GoFundMe page after riots

Natalie's Cakes and More celebrated its grand opening this summer, but now people are raising money so the owner can continue pursuing her dream.

A small business owner raised more than $158,000 to restore her bakery after it was damaged during the recent riots in Ferguson, Mo.

Natalie Dubose, who opened Natalie's Cakes and More this summer, was horrified when it was targeted Monday night, after a grand jury decided not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

“I’m beside myself, but with the holidays, can't stop working,” she wrote on her GoFundMe page. “I'm very busy cleaning and trying to repair my business. I'm also trying to catch up on baking cakes for Thanksgiving!”

Dubose says she started baking and selling cakes at local flea markets and saved up until she had enough money to make her dream of starting her own business come true.

A friend recommended that she start a fundraising page on Tuesday.

“The outpouring of support on Twitter, Facebook, and in the media has been amazing. I was in tears,” she said.

Her story caught the attention of “Everybody Loves Raymond” actress Patricia Heaton and “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Brandi Glanville, who voiced their support on Twitter to their hundreds of thousands of followers.

Within 24 hours of starting her campaign, more than 4,900 people contributed to help her buy new windows and repair other damage to her shop.

“Thank you to EVERYONE for the kind words, prayers, and emotional support,” she wrote. “I am so humbly blessed!”

Similarly, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library benefited from a social media campaign urging donations.

“OVERWHELMED by generosity from around the country. We have received donations from more than 7,000 folks! Amazing and humbling!” a post on the library’s Facebook page reads.

The library stayed open to provide schoolchildren with a safe place to learn when many other organizations in the city – including the schools – were closed.