For the last two years or so, random Uticans have been receiving positive vibes from the unlikeliest of sources: rubber ducks. 

“One Duck at a Time” is a grassroots movement by one anonymous Central New York resident to help spread positivity to their fellow man. Quite simply, they are small rubber ducks with a tag around their neck that have a short inspirational quote on them. The goal is just to bring light and maybe a smile to whoever finds them.

Will Phillips
Will Phillips
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While speaking to me anonymously through the “One Duck at a Time” Facebook page, the good Samaritan had this to say:

“I was discouraged by how negative and dark the world had become and wanted to bring a little light to the darkness, even if it was just one duck at a time. I have been a lover of rubber ducks my whole life, so using ducks as a way to spread just a little bit of light to the world was an easy choice.”

The unidentified individual said they’ve lost count of how many ducks they’ve distributed in the area, but a rough estimate would be around 300. There’s no rhyme or reason to where the ducks might show up, it’s just where the ducks are most likely to be found. Popular places seem to be restaurants, gas pumps, mall benches, and windowsills outside of stores. 

Will Phillips
Will Phillips
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The anonymous person said they once had a mother contact them whose daughter was in the hospital and needed a sign her child was going to be okay. The mother happened upon the duck while out shopping, and said it was the spark of hope she needed. One Duck at a Time’s purveyor says they pray over the ducks before they’re released, and it means a lot when they’ve done their job. 

If you find a duck, it’s yours to keep, or you can pass it on to someone else who might need a smile.

Life can be hard, and we could all use a little boost. Rubber ducky, you’re the one.

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