COWLITZ COUNTY, WA (KPTV) - A coffee shop chain in Cowlitz County, along with its customers, are doing their part to thank Deputy Justin DeRosier for his service by holding a fundraiser for the fallen deputy's wife and 5-month-old daughter.
On Wednesday, Red Leaf Organic Coffee will be donating 20 percent from all food and drink sales from all locations to the family.
Donation jars were set out on Tuesday, and donations have been pouring in.
"We're backing the blue, that's what we do," said Kevin King, customer of Red Leaf.
King said his family knows the DeRosiers. He says if Deputy DeRosier's duty was to protect the community, the people in Cowlitz County now have a duty to protect the deputy's surviving family.
"It's a duty. These gentlemen and these women, what they do is, I can't imagine having to go through this stuff," said King. "I'm amazed by my community how they've come together."
"The police officers are regulars in here. The state patrol, the police officers from Kelso, Longview all come here and get coffee here," said Brenna Mayfield, a barista at Red Leaf.
Deputy DeRosier was one of those regulars, so as soon as the people at Red Leaf heard about his death they wanted to help.
"We know most of their drinks before they even come in. We see them and we start their drinks because we know who they are," said Mayfield.
It's not just the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office that lost a deputy, or Deputy DeRosier's family who lost a loved one, the baristas also lost a friend.
"The whole community loves him. Even though we didn't know him personally, just to let them know how much we loved his service to us, making us feel safe," said Becky McNeilly, a customer of Red Leaf.
It didn't take long for the donation jar to start filling up Tuesday - one measure of a community pouring out its heart as it tries to heal.
"It's wonderful in a horrible situation is what it is," said King.
By 12 p.m. Tuesday, Red Leaf had received $3,600 in donations just from the jars set up by registers.
For more information about the fundraiser and Red Leaf locations, visit www.redleafcoffee.com.
Dutch Bros. locations in Kelso and Longview will also be donating proceeds on Wednesday to Deputy DeRosier's family.
Donation jars will be set up at the windows for people who want to drop off a contribution.
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