ROCKLAND—Though Dunkin Donuts may be dropping the “donuts” from their brand soon, that hasn’t stopped a 10-year-old caped crusader named Tyler Carach from eclipsing those headlines in his mission to deliver boxes of donuts to every police officer in America.
On Thursday, September 27, Tyler and his mother, Sheena, arrived in Maine after driving up from Florida for the sole purpose of delivering boxes of Dunkin Donuts and coffee to law officers in Brunswick as well as in Rockland. With a homemade cape that his grandmother made him with that states: “I donut need a reason to thank a cop,” Tyler was all smiles and enthusiasm, as he played “Hangman” with Lt. Reggie Walker and the officers at the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and answered reporters’ questions.
Maine is now the 41st state that Tyler and Sheena have visited to thank law officers for their service, protection and dedication. Sheena, a former police officer, said the idea started one day in a store when Tyler was eight-years-old and they spotted four deputies.
“He wanted to buy them some mini donuts from his allowance and they were super excited to receive it,” she said. “When we left, he asked me why the officers had gotten so excited over a snack and I told him, ‘Well, it wasn’t just the snack; it was that you took the time to say thank you and appreciate them. In his mind, he thought that was a thing everyone did and I explained to him that unfortunately a lot of people choose to judge the police and are not always nice to them, and sometimes target them, so then he looked at me very seriously and said, ‘OK, well, I’m going to thank every cop in America and buy them a donut.’ I told him there were 900,000 cops in America, and no matter what I came back with, he told me ‘That’s okay, I’m going to thank them all.’”
The Carachs started their mission locally in 2016 delivering donuts around Florida.
“Most of the travel, we fund a lot of it ourselves, and most of the donuts we get sponsored, but today, we purchased these today as Dunkin Donuts had met their quota for donations in this area,” she said.
Occasionally the family will also receive donations through a Go Fund Me account.
“We’ve always taught him, no matter how big of a goal you have, you can accomplish it,” said Sheena. “And he’s shown me that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. He’s also got a big support system behind him with our entire family.”
Usually when the Carachs plan a trip, it takes from one to two weeks and typically takes place in the summertime. Tyler goes to a charter school, but when he’s on the road with his mother, they provide Sheena with lesson plans to teach him along the way.
Sheena said the response across the county to Tyler and his donut giveaway has been phenomenal.
”We’ve been to a lot of departments, not intentionally, but just right after they’d had a fatality or an officer injured, and some people are just in tears because it means so much to them,” she said.
With more than 70,000 donuts given away, they’ve covered most of the eastern seaboard on their trips. On their way back home, they have stops to make in the greater Pittsburgh area.
“It’s just such a positive, thoughtful thing they’re doing,” said Chief Deputy Timothy Carroll. “Just going all over the nation thanking cops, there’s no better way to do it.”
Tyler is already working on turning his mission and brand into a 501(c)(3).
”He’s not going to stop until he’s reached every single police station in the United States,” Sheena said.
To learn more about Tyler and his cause, visit: www.idonutneedareasontothankacop.com
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com
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