Tyler Carach and Rosalyn Baldwin have never met.
Tyler is 9 years old, wears a cape and lives in Florida.
Rosalyn, who is 7, is a preacher’s daughter from Louisiana.
This summer they are on parallel missions, both traveling with their families to thank police officers across the country for their service.
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Tyler is handing out doughnuts, Rosalyn is doling out hugs to every police officer she can get her tiny arms around.
She and her mom, Angie, and her little brother visited police last month in both Kansas Cities, and in Topeka.
Rosalyn hugged police officers in Ferguson, Mo., too.
The Springfield, Mo., police department made a video about her visit with them. It’s posted along with other photos and videos from her trip on the RosalynLoves Facebook page.
On a trip that has caught national attention, from CNN to NBC Nightly News, Rosalyn and her mom have visited 16 states so far. Angie Baldwin says this is all her daughter’s doing.
Rosalyn, whose family knows a lot of people who work in law enforcement, were sad after the fatal sniper attacks on police officers in Dallas last July and decided she wanted to show police officers some love. It was just that simple.
Baldwin, who said “we really pray on everything we do with her,” decided to help her daughter do just that.
“She loves police officers and wants to promote unity in the community,” Baldwin says. “I can’t make her do this. This is what she wanted to do.”
A GoFundMe page raised about $9,000 for their trip, and they hit the road. They’re home in Louisiana for a spell before heading to New England later this month. Baldwin, who has multiple sclerosis, promised her neurologist she would take rests.
People back home have asked that Rosalyn stay close to home and participate in events marking the one-year anniversary this month of the shooting rampage that killed three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge. Gavin Long of Kansas City was the shooter.
“Baton Rouge was close to home for us,” Baldwin says.
When Rosalyn finishes hugging cops, she wants to meet and hug every living president, her mom says. She’ll start with the one who seems to need it the most, says Baldwin. “She said she might want start with President Trump,” she says.
While the Baldwins take a brief break, Tyler’s family is in the second week of a six-week road trip that began near their home in Bratt, Fla., and has taken them through Georgia and North Carolina so far.
Next week they’ll be swinging through Ohio and Pennsylvania on their way to visit the New York Police Department.
By the time they wrap up this leg of their trip in New Hampshire, they plan to have delivered more than 10,000 doughnuts. So far Tyler has given away more than 7,000 doughnuts at police stations along the way.
Tyler has become known as “The Donut Boy.” Wearing a homemade cape emblazoned with the words “I donut need a reason to thank a cop” – the same name as his Facebook page – he looks like a little superhero.
“I want to thank all officers,” Tyler told News 4 in Jacksonville, Fla. “Cops are my best friends. They keep people safe, and to remind them that people still care.”
Tyler’s mission began last year when he bought doughnuts for a group of deputies he saw outside a store in his hometown, according to News 4.
When Tyler first had the idea of taking doughnuts to every cop in the land, his mom, Sheena Carach, encouraged him to start locally. But she always taught her children to dream big.
“It has just ballooned into this amazing adventure,” Carach told the Citizen-Times in Asheville, N.C., “and it goes to show that when you’re dedicated and passionate about something you can achieve anything.”
The family is planning a trip through the Midwest in the fall.
All this time spent hanging out with cops has Tyler thinking about putting on a uniform himself someday. He has his eye on the K-9 units, “because I get to have a pet while working,” he told News 4.