'Donut Boy' is on a mission to thank every cop in America
Tyler Carach's program, "I donut need a reason to thank a cop," has become a national phenomenon
Since PoliceOne first reported on the mission of Tyler Carach to thank every cop in America, this amazing little boy has delivered 70,000 donuts to cops nationwide. Catch up on his story here.
Tyler Carach, 9, has an ambitious and astonishing goal – he wants to say “thank you” to every law enforcement officer in America.
His program is called “I donut need a reason to thank a cop” and it’s become a national phenomenon.
Tyler’s mission began on August 1, 2016, when he and his mother walked into a local corner store. Tyler noticed four deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office eating lunch in the back and he said, “A cop’s favorite drink is coffee and their favorite food is donuts, right?”
He then asked his mom, Sheena, if he could use his own money to buy them some donuts. He selected four packs of mini donuts and took them to the officers, who were overjoyed. Tyler shook their hands and thanked them for their service.
“When we left, Tyler asked me why the cops were so happy about the donuts, and I explained that officers were having a hard time right now and they were under attack,” Sheena said. “We talked about how some people do not understand that you can never judge a whole basket of apples by a few bad ones and I explained how that related to all ‘groups’ in life. Tyler looked at me very seriously and stated, ‘Okay, I am going to buy donuts for every cop in America and tell them all thank you.’ I was speechless.”
From a simple gesture to a national campaign
So far Tyler has delivered more than 6,000 donuts to LEOs, with a goal of delivering 10,000 more this summer. He has nine events in his local area in the Florida Panhandle, then will attend 30 different events during a six-week road trip to Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Delaware.
“I like to thank cops,” Tyler told PoliceOne. “I’m getting ready to go on a road trip and thank a lot of cops. I’m going to thank them with donuts.”
Tyler’s first large-scale event was held for 420 ECSO deputies. His second event was at the Flomaton Police Department in Alabama. He has since visited police departments in Oregon, Illinois, Georgia, Virginia and Washington D.C.
Word about “Donut Boy” has got around. A radio program called The Liz and Reilly Show flew the pair out to Oregon to donate donuts provided by Bizzy Jeans Donuts – a popular local favorite – to multiple departments.
“By the time we returned to Florida from Oregon,” Sheena said, “we had received a message from Inside Edition and they did a piece on Tyler and his trip to Oregon.”
In November 2016, Tyler turned nine and when Sheena asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he asked to spend the day thanking more cops.
Sheena said, “I must say we pulled off the most epic birthday ever – ‘Birthday with the Blue.’ Our friends at Krispy Kreme contributed 2,004 donuts and 700 cups of coffee, and I handmade 500 cupcakes. Tyler had written a tribute song for police, which we debuted at the event. His smiles and laughs were priceless. And the officers’ faces even more priceless.”
The Steve Harvey Show invited Tyler to share his program on national television. During his TV debut, Tyler received a check for $5,000 from Boxed.com. During their trip to Chicago for that television appearance, they visited with the fine men and women of the Chicago Police Department.
Tyler’s story includes being awarded the National George Washington Honor Medal from The Freedoms Foundation and a National Youth Activist Award in Social Justice. He has been a guest speaker at the Georgia Chief of Police Conference. Recently he was a guest speaker at the C.O.P.S. gathering during National Police Week, where he thanked the families of the fallen for their sacrifices.
It is a total team effort
How does Tyler – remember, this is a nine-year-old boy – and his family afford to buy all of those donuts? It begins with Tyler earning money at home by doing chores around his family’s farm, but the rest comes from the kindness of strangers.
For example, when Tyler and Sheena were in Oregon, it just so happened that they were staying at the same hotel as the PBR riders – professional bull riding – and they met Chad Berger, the gentleman who owns all the bulls for PBR.
“He was asking Tyler about his cape, and Tyler told him what he was doing. He said, ‘You know what, little man? I just love what you’re doing and love what you stand for. I’m going to buy the donuts for your next event.’ He pulled out a hundred dollar bill and gave it to Tyler, and Tyler funded his next event out of that money,” Sheena said.
Both Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts have supported a number of events with donated donuts. Recently, Sheena and Tyler have been in close contact with a company called ALTAI, which has offered to donate a portion of sales from a specific line of boots to Tyler’s program. Anyone who wishes to contribute to the program can purchase directly from the ALTAI online shop.
A young man on a mission
“In the near future, Tyler hopes to find an attorney to help him turn his program into a 501c3. He also hopes to meet our new president to thank him for backing our men and women in blue. He would like to address the nation and thank all of the cops and he said the president may be able to let him do that, or Ellen!” Sheena said.
“Tyler may be a little guy, but he has a heart the size of an ocean and it is filled with passion for our men and women in blue,” Sheena said. “One thing Tyler has always said is that he wants to inspire other people to like cops like he does and maybe even want to be one because of shortages there are in police departments right now.”
One of the hallmarks of good parenting is instilling in children the belief that the most important thing in life is to serve others. Clearly Sheena and her husband have done an amazing job bringing up their three kids. While Tyler’s passion is cops, his sister Naudia volunteers to help underprivileged disabled children and his brother Zach’s chosen cause is protecting animals.
“I was a law enforcement officer for a little while, so I know what they go through every day,” Sheena said. “It’s been incredible for me to watch my child accomplish his dream of thanking these officers and knowing what it means to them to hear that. Because they could be having the worst day in the world and then we walk up to them and say thank you. It reminds them why they do this job.”
Tyler is truly a remarkable young man. He wants to one day serve and protect as a police officer. For now, he’s content to simply thank police officers – as many of them as possible, one donut at a time.