KELSO, Wash — Local businesses are stepping up to raise money for the DeRosier family. Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin DeRosier was shot and killed in the line of duty over the weekend.
On Tuesday, it was busy at Red Leaf Organic Coffee in Kelso. A steady stream of customers is pretty normal for a weekday morning, but Tuesday was different.
“At all our locations we have these donation jars,” said Brenna Mayfield, who works at Red Leaf Organic Coffee.
Donation jars were set out on the front counter and at the drive-thru to raise money for DeRosier's family.
“It spread like wildfire on social media. So they're all coming in showing their support. I mean it's been crazy,” she said.
Isaiah Akesson heard about the campaign and wanted to help.
“I decided I was gonna come in. I had some cash on me and I wanted to donate whatever cash I had at the time and get a coffee,” said Akesson.
He said he’s grateful for the work DeRosier and other law enforcement do in their day-to-day.
“It takes a brave, strong, courageous person to go do that,” Akesson said.
The hope is that the extra dollars, multiplied many times over, will help DeRosier's wife Katie, and their little girl Lily.
“Thinking of a young mom with a 5-month-old and no dad, it broke all of our hearts,” said Ray Vandervalk, who co-owns Red Leaf Organic Coffee with his wife.
While Vandervalk said nothing can replace a human life, he hopes the money will take away a little of the financial stress.
“Even if we can do something to take away financial worry even for a little while, it’ll definitely be worth it,” Vandervalk said.
The campaign is already off to a good start.
“We're stacking them up. A gentleman donated $200 himself to it and this is just the first day of it in our one location,” said Mayfield.
Red Leaf Organic Coffee is raising money at all four of its locations in Longview, Kelso and Woodland. As of noon on Tuesday, more than $3,600 total cash had been donated into the jars.
On Wednesday, 20% of the food and drink sales will go to the DeRosier family. The goal is to raise $10,000.
Dutch Bros. says the company is joining the fundraising effort at its two Longview locations and one Kelso location. The company will donate proceeds from Wednesday's sales to the DeRosier family.
Also joining in on Wednesday: River’s Edge Coffee and Vaut Books & Brew.
While the fundraising gears up, behind the scenes, plans are underway for Deputy DeRosier's memorial service. A police nonprofit called Behind the Badge is in town to help. They expect several thousand people will come to honor the deputy. There are many logistics to work out