There were times when Natalie DuBose didn't have enough money to buy new sneakers as she scrimped and saved to start a bakery in Ferguson, Mo.: She worked two jobs and held bake sales to make her dream come true in June, when she finally opened the doors to Natalie's Cakes and More, NBC News reports. So the mom of two was totally devastated when rioters seriously damaged her shop on Monday, breaking windows and vandalizing kitchen equipment, after the no-indictment decision for Darren Wilson was handed down. "Hurt is the only word I could really describe," she tells NBC. "I was like, 'Wow, you guys really just didn't care, you didn't care, and this affects whether I can feed my children or not." A friend mentioned she should try to raise money to keep her business alive, but DuBose wasn't prepared for the overwhelming kindness of strangers that happened next.
Celebrities like Patricia Heaton and Brandi Glanville asked their Twitter followers to support DuBose, while other people volunteered to help her take calls, fulfill orders, and even build her a website as holiday orders started to bombard her, the Washington Post reports. Her GoFundMe page has raised more than $218,000 as of this morning (a second page set up by friends has pulled in another $10,000-plus). The single mom tells NBC that she's set on keeping her bakery open—even as other area businesses shutter for good—because it's "like a baby" to her. "I am so grateful. … It's been absolutely amazing," she says. "I did a lot of sacrificing on my own in order to get things, that's why I am determined that I am not going anywhere." (Strangers also helped keep a Boston college student in school.)