A bakery in Ferguson, Missouri, destroyed by looters got some sweet relief from donors who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to help owner Natalie DuBose rebuild her beloved shop.
DuBose opened Natalie's Cakes and More at 100 South Florissant Road this summer, after getting her start selling baked goods at local flea markets.
"Everything that I invested, it came from me saving money through bake sales," she told NBC News. "Sometimes I couldn't buy a pair of tennis shoes because I wanted to make sure I had enough money to buy a bucket of icing. It was an investment all around. I always had to work at least two jobs. I never just had just one job because my dream was always to have my own bakery."
On the night of Nov. 24, following the announcement that a grand jury would not indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, looters smashed the windows of her store. The glass shards ruined her supplies just days before the Thanksgiving rush.
"I am a single mom, a mother of two," she told CNN. "This is everything that I own. I can't walk away from it. I just got to start up and start baking again.
Before long, DuBose got some love and assistance.
Community members arrived at the shop, offering to help clean up the mess, to fix the broken windows and to give DuBose a much-needed hug, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Volunteers brought food and even offered to hand-deliver her 40 Thanksgiving orders.
A woman named Kristine Froeba from New Orleans set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money to repair DuBose's business. Froeba used social media to spread the word about the campaign. In just five days, the campaign surpassed its goal of $20,000. As of Monday morning, more than $260,000 had been donated.
DuBose has also been spreading the word about fundraisers for other local businesses affected by the unrest in Ferguson. On Nov. 28, she posted on Facebook a list of GoFundMe campaigns for burned, looted or damaged stores, including Queen's Touch Barber Shop and Juanita's Ferguson Boutique.