When is a donut more than just a donut? Is it “just a donut” if it’s given out of love and support — and eaten with appreciation?
Tyler Carach of Florida has done more for police in one year than most people will do in a lifetime.
He recently turned 10.
Back in August 2016, when he was eight, he was at a local store with his mother. Four local sheriff’s deputies were also present. Tyler Carach told his mom, Sheena, that he knew coffee was cops’ favorite drink and donuts their favorite snack.
He asked his mom for permission to buy donuts with his own money — and she consented. The police officers were extremely grateful and happy that this young boy made an effort to recognize them.
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After leaving the store, a conversation began: Young Tyler expressed curiosity as to why the police were so happy for just donuts and coffee. His mother tried to explain that police were not well-liked by some around the country. This inspired the boy. He told his mom he wanted to thank every cop in America by giving them each a donut. Although his mom was supportive, she suggested they start locally and see how it went. They did — and it was very successful.
They’ve now been expanding their reach regionally — and even started a GoFundMe account  to help raise money.
They recently went on a six-week road trip to thank officers along the East Coast of the United States. They planned to give out over 10,000 donuts on that trip alone. Tyler Carach told LifeZette in a phone interview, “I want to thank every single cop [in this country] and I think there are over 900,000 in America!” He said that after his East Coast trip, he would have given out over 20,000 donuts — and that number is topping 36,000 after additional trips.
What specifically made him think police deserved free donuts? The boy’s answer: “Because cops are my best friends! Cops keep me and my family and friends safe, and I want to remind them that people still care about them because they are having a real hard time right now. Donuts are their favorite treats, so I wanted them to have something that was special to them.”
His mother said funds raised will go 100 percent to the mission only. The donations will cover doughnuts, travel and lodging for the events.
Mother and son have also gained some corporate support. Altai Gear , which makes different types of high-performance boots, pledged 2 percent of its proceeds from police-approved boots to the campaign.
Of course, young Tyler’s mission gives him an opportunity to meet a lot of officers. He does want to try one thing that he thinks would be fun, if they let him. He said first he would like to thank the CEOs of Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme for being two of his biggest supporters — but if there is an opportunity, he also hopes they will let him help make the donuts for a day.
“I think if the people who don’t like cops could do the job of the police for just one week, they would have a very different opinion about them.”
For his young age of only 10 years, this boy does have some pretty good thoughts about attitudes toward police.
“I have heard a lot of bad comments about cops and have had a lot of bad things said about me and my family for supporting cops,” he told LifeZette. “I can’t change anyone else’s opinions, but I can say that you can never judge a whole by a few. My parents have taught me that my whole life. Cops are the ones running in when everyone else is running out, and they risk their lives daily for total strangers. Imagine if there were no cops? The world is scary already. Could you imagine what it would be like if there were no cops at all? I think if the people who don’t like cops could do the job of the police for just one week, they would have a very different opinion about them.”
Let this child be an example to all of us.
As this boy has been doing, if you have a minute and the opportunity — thank a police officer. Buy him or her a cup of coffee, a donut — or just take a minute to let these individuals know there are many of us who do care. If you don’t have an opportunity for either of those options, consider helping Tyler Carach on his quest by donating to his GoFundMe page .
If it was this boy’s choice, he would give every officer a strawberry-iced heart or a S’mores donut.
The least we as Americans can do is help this young American boy achieve his small yet very large-hearted goal.
John Cylc is an eight-year U.S. Army veteran and lives with his family in eastern Tennessee. This article appeared earlier in LifeZette and has been updated.