It’s a warm and fuzzy gift. It’s a keepsake collectable. But, most importantly, it’s a way for anyone and everyone to give from their hearts in the crusade against childhood cancer.
That’s right. It’s that time of year for the annual Aflac Holiday Duck to make its debut in Macy’s department stores nationwide and via the company’s own website. All net proceeds from sales of the festive duck go to Aflac Foundation Inc. to help children across the country suffering from cancer.
The duck has changed its attire each holiday season since the promotional gift’s launch in 2001. In the first year, it came with a traditional blue scarf and Santa hat. But it has been everything from an ice skater and snow skier to a green-clad elf and Christmas caroler over the last 16 years.
As is customary, the cheerful-laden duck will come in two sizes, a 6-incher for $10 and a 10-incher for $15, with it outfitted in a blue toboggan hat, a plaid blue scarf and, very appropriately, a great big heart on its chest. More than $3 million has been raised from sales through the years.
The 2017 holiday duck also is a replica of a new “balloonicle” that will cruise down Sixth Avenue in New York City during this year’s Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 23.
“The impact and popularity of the Aflac Holiday Duck program with Macy's has continued to grow over the last 17 years of our partnership,” Aflac Foundation President Kathelen Amos said in a statement Monday announcing the holiday duck. “An ambassador of holiday joy, the Aflac Duck also symbolizes the deep commitment of the Aflac family to the fight against pediatric cancer. Over the last 23 years, Aflac has provided more than $119 million for support of pediatric cancer. We are excited to be joined in this fight by all the purchasers of the Aflac Holiday Duck, and are grateful for their generosity, and for Macy's support in raising awareness of this important cause.”
On top of the holiday duck sales and other promotions, the Aflac Childhood Cancer Campaign also continues the firm’s pledge to give $2 to the foundation for each social media activity posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #Duckprints. The commitment is capped at $1.5 million in donations.
Aflac, headquartered on Wynnton Road in Columbus, sells supplemental health and life insurance policies. It does business in the U.S. and Japan.