My dear friend and Juice Plus upline sponsor, Carrie Radnov, was a guest in my home when Ferguson, MO blew up the first time over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. She is a resident of St Louis, and she had to reroute her drive home due to the rioting. In addition, she had considerable concern for her daughter’s safety, as her daughter lives in Ferguson only a few blocks where some of the worst incidents have occurred.
The night the announcement was made in regard to the grand jury’s decision to not press charges against the officer who shot Brown, I sat in my living room, she in hers, and we texted back and forth as we listened to the District Attorney read his measured statement. While the grand jury’s conclusions seemed more than reasonable, given the evidence, it did not mean that the rule of law would triumph.
Carrie’s heart for her town was burdened, and the night of the DA’s announcement was going to be a long one. We prayed that cool heads would prevail, and that God would bring good out of the grand jury’s findings. Sadly, things blew up, and as of this writing, the situation continues to be volatile. Nevertheless, there has been one story out of Ferguson that has a true silver lining, that of a bakery known as Natalie’s Cakes and More.
Natalie Dubose invested everything she had in order to open her bakery this past June. Her shop was one of the casualties of the riots, and there was no way she was going to be able to fulfill her orders for baked goods for Thanksgiving. A website was opened where people could donate to help Natalie rebuild her shop, and through a most positive use of mass media, Natalie’s plight went viral. Actress Patricia Heaton and reality show star Brandi Glandville, along with talk show host Rush Limbaugh were among those who got the word out.
To everyone’s shock, in a matter of a few days, over $230,000 was raised, significantly more than what would be needed to rebuild the bakery. "Thank you to actresses Patricia Heaton and Brandi Glanville for supporting me!" Dubose said. "I must have missed thousands of other tweets, and I’m so sorry I can’t mention them all. The sweet lady who offered money from her social security check brought me to tears. … Thank you to EVERYONE for the kind words, prayers, and emotional support."
Not only has the outpouring been generous, it has also been speedy. In the first 20 hours the site was opened, more than $100,000 was raised. Natalie has been wonderfully overwhelmed by the generosity of everyday Americans. She said, "I would [like to] thank everyone for their warm wishes, empathy, and support during this crazy difficult time."
While it may be that our prayers for Ferguson were not answered in the way we had hoped, in a way this answer is even “sweeter.” Why? Because in this hour where some people’s desire is to cause strife, no one would know the extent of the generosity of loving Americans of every color if Natalie had not suffered loss. Indeed, lemonade has been made out of bitter lemons, and it looks like it will be served with one of Natalie’s cakes for all of us to enjoy for years to come.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner