70,000 donuts and counting for boy thanking cops across the country
Tyler Carach wants to thank every cop in America for what they do by giving them a doughnut.
But can he? The question remains yet to be seen.
“There’s no way to thank every cop in America,” mom Sheena Carach said. “We’ve looked at it every which way, and it changes every day.
“But I think he will make an extreme impact. I really do. He already has.”
The 10-year-old from Florida got a little closer to his goal Saturday by treating several Alle-Kiski Valley police officers to doughnuts and coffee at the New Kensington police department.
As officers took turns going through the line to pick up their coffees and snacks, Carach, wearing a cape covered in doughnut designs, shook their hands and said, “Thank you.”
“Police officers risk their lives every day for total strangers,” he said. “I wanted to thank them for their risk and their service.”
Sheena Carach, a former police officer, said her son came up with the idea after seeing four deputies in a local store and asking her if he could use his allowance to buy them some doughnuts. Afterward, Tyler Carach asked why the deputies were so appreciative of the gesture, and she said it was because he took the time to thank them.
“He said, ‘OK, well, I’m going to thank every cop in America and buy them all a doughnut,’” she said. “I (said), ‘Well, there’s a lot of police officers in America, Tyler.’ He said, ‘That’s OK, I’m going to thank them all.’”
Sheena Carach suggested starting out local, which they did, but Tyler Carach still had aspirations of thanking every officer in the country. Then, about two and a half weeks after his first event, a radio station in Oregon called and said they wanted to fly Tyler Carach out to hand out doughnuts.
“He looked at me on the plane and he said, ‘I told you I could go across America,’ and I was like, ‘Well, you sure did,’” Sheena Carach said. “From then, it was just on. We just have kept it going however we can.”
So far, Tyler Carach has been to 41 states and handed out more than 70,000 doughnuts.
For this trip, he went to police departments in Tennessee, Maryland, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine and Pennsylvania. He spent Friday in Pittsburgh, Mt. Lebanon, Bridgeville and Ross Township. He hit up McCandless and New Kensington on Saturday.
“He’s been to hundreds and hundreds of departments,” his mom said.
Sheena Carach said she and her husband receive occasional donations for travel expenses, but fund most of that cost out of pocket. The doughnuts are usually donated by local bakeries. In this case, Dunkin’ Donuts provided the fare.
“In the Greater Pittsburgh area, he has served 120 dozen doughnuts,” his mom said.
New Kensington police Chief Bob Deringer said he reached out to surrounding police departments to let them know about the event. Several came, including officers from Frazer, East Deer, Cheswick, Upper Burrell, and Arnold.
Deringer said he appreciates what Tyler Carach is doing because police officers are generally good guys, but aren’t always seen that way.
“It seems like the news only puts on the bad things that we do — we don’t get as much good recognition,” he said. “This is awesome.”
Upper Burrell Patrolman Jerry Hobeck said there are a lot of negative opinions of police nowadays, and Tyler Carach is showing that officers are there to help people.
“We’re out there to serve and protect,” he said. “I think it’s a great message, that he’s actually helping us get that message out.”
Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected], or via Twitter @maddyczebstrib.