A Florida boy is on a mission to thank police officers around the country for their dedicated service to their communities.
Tyler Carach, 9, of Bratt, Florida, was in Vermont on Monday, meeting officers from several departments and giving them coffee and donuts provided by local Dunkin Donuts franchisees.
“It makes me feel happy,” Carach said of his visits to police departments, which included stops Monday in Montpelier, Northfield, Barre City, Barre Town, the Capitol Police at the statehouse, and the Vermont State Police barracks in Royalton.
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Carach wears a cape and calls himself “Donut Boy.” The superpower he flexes is more quaint than heroic: the ability to simply say “thank you.”
“Cops keep my family and friends safe, and they’re my best friends,” Carach said of the reason behind his road trip.
Carach began the project one year ago this week, and has visited many states so far, including Oregon, California, Ohio, Louisiana, and Virginia.
On this leg of the mission, after Vermont, he’s planning to cross New Hampshire and Massachusetts off his list this week, too, with stops in Hudson, Pelham, and Quincy.
“I think it’s great,” said Cpl. Chris Truhan of the Montpelier, Vermont Police Department. “I think a lot of people are afraid to show their support for [police officers] these days, and here he is going right out there and doing it.”
While local owners of Dunkin Donuts franchises have provided snacks for Donut Boy to serve the officers on the New England stretch of his journey, his family is footing the bill for most travel costs.
“He’s very serious,” his mother, Sheena Carach, told NBC Boston.
Sheena Carach said through watching the news and talking to relatives in law enforcement, her son knows some police actions have been closely scrutinized or criticized lately.
“I also explained to him that cops are having a really hard time right now, and there were a lot of people out to purposely hurt cops, and he looked at me and he goes, ‘OK, I’m going to thank every cop in America and buy them all a donut,’” Donut Boy’s mom recounted.
“Yeah, that’s the biggest goal I ever heard,” Tyler Carach added, smiling.
While thanking every officer in America may be a very lofty goal, Tyler said he’ll settle for at least visiting a department or two in all 50 states.
Sheena Carach told NBC Boston she will home-school her son this upcoming school year, to help facilitate the continuation of his project.
At each stop to a police department around the country, Donut Boy’s cape will tell those officers, “I donut need a reason to thank a cop.”