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9-year-old Florida boy on a mission to thank America's police officers

Tyler Carach, sporting a cape that reads, "I donut need a reason to thank a cop," made a stop in Asheville on his campaign to thank police officers across the country one doughnut at a time. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

News 13's Person of the Week has gained national attention for his efforts to thank police officers across the country one doughnut at a time.

Tyler Carach, sporting a cape that reads, "I donut need a reason to thank a cop," made a stop in Asheville, Wednesday.

RELATED | Boy visits Asheville for his doughnut-themed 'thank a cop' campaign

In the fog of early morning, coffee and boxes of doughnuts were set up -- offerings for Asheville police officers.

"I do this because cops are my best friends, they keep us safe, and to remind them that people still care," the 9-year-old said to the crowd.

"I explained to him that there are people actually out there to hurt cops right now," his mom, Sheena Carach, said. "So, he said, 'OK, well I'm going to thank every cop in America and buy them all a doughnut.' And I was, like, OK!"

"Cops keep us safe, and why would you be mean to someone who keeps you safe?" Tyler asked

Since last year, Tyler and his family have traveled from his hometown near Pensacola, Florida, to departments from south Florida all the way to New Hampshire.

That's a lot of doughnuts.

"Over 7,200," Tyler said.

The national campaign started on a local whim.

"One day me and my mom went to this local store. I saw four cops, and I asked her if I could by them minidoughnuts with my own money," he recalled.

"I never expected it to turn into what it has turned into, but I've always taught my kids that you're the only one who limits yourself," his mom said.

Asheville Police Chief Tammy Hooper said, with time, Tyler will grasp the magnitude of what he's doing.

"Later on, he may get a better idea what it means to law enforcement across the country to know we have this guy who is really giving back to us and really show his appreciation," Hooper said.

"We hope you'll remember us at Asheville PD," Hooper said, giving Tyler an APD patch. "We appreciate your being here, and I can't tell you how much it means to all of our officers that you're giving back to us."

Tyler, who said he wants to be a K-9 officer, plans more than 30 doughnut stops over six weeks. Click here if you'd like to donate to his cause.

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