With a “ready, set, go!” A doughnut-eating contest ensued inside the Coon Rapids Police Department pitting Coon Rapids police officer Bryan Platz against "the donut boy."
Eleven-year-old Florida-native, Tyler Carach, has given out 75,000 donuts to police officers around the country. This time, his sights were set on Coon Rapids. As Officer Platz and Tyler shoveled in their doughnuts, it looked like kid versus cop, but really, there were no sides. On that day, laughs – and lots of sugar – filled the police department. Tyler’s mission to thank every cop in America started after a chance encounter he and his mom had at a store in 2016.
“I saw some officers, or deputies, and so I wanted to buy them a snack and thank them,” he recalled. “So when I left after thanking them I said, ‘why are they so happy over a snack and excited?’ And she said it wasn't the snack they were excited about, it was because I took the time to say thank you. And because some people judge a whole by a few and don't like cops because of that few. And after I heard that I said I wanted to thank every cop in America.”
In the two and a half years since, Tyler has traveled to 41 states delivering doughnuts. Every time, he dons a cape made by his grandma that reads: I Donut Need a Reason to Thank a Cop. In all of his travels Tyler has gotten an inside look at the law enforcement world, while sharing his true superpower: goodwill.
“Really to see how it's grown is actually amazing,” said Officer Platz. “He's a nationwide sensation now. And it's just such a good message. You know, for a kid that age to be thinking like that and to appreciate the efforts that go into this line of work, it's heartwarming.”
Funded by donations, sponsorships and his family's own pocketbook, Tyler's mom, Sheena Carach, is the engine that makes his doughnut dream machine run.
“I never in a million years thought that it would actually turn into everything it has turned into but it kinda just took off and I just kinda rolled with it,” she said.
“And to me personally, to see grown men and women who are touched so much by something as simple as just saying thank you – two simple words that we could all do a lot more of – and to see this little child able to do that and put that impact on them, is just incredible.”
At the end of the day, Tyler gulped his doughnut down a little faster than Officer Platz. But the room was full of smiles, the smell of pastries was in the air, and people were doubled over with laughter. When a little child's play is that good for soul… maybe everyone wins.
Jennifer Anderson reporting