In the small town of Geraldine, Alabama, farmer Hody Childress was a man known for his humility and kindness. But not many people knew the full extent of his generosity.
That is, until he passed away on Jan. 1, 2023. That’s when neighbors learned that Childress, an Air Force veteran, secretly had been paying the pharmacy bills for folks who could not afford the cost of their prescriptions.
“Everybody knew him, but Hody wasn’t someone who came in and wanted everyone to know he was there,” Brooke Walker, pharmacist and co-owner of Geraldine Drugs, told Fox News Digital.
“He’d make peanut brittle for my staff and drop it off,” said Walker. “Or he’d bring us tomatoes or apples from his tree and say, ‘Hey, I was just thinking about you guys.’ This is a small town — and we’re like each other’s family.
“One day about 10 years ago, Childress brought something else besides food into Geraldine Drugs: a folded-up $100 bill. Walker said Childress asked her to use the money to help anyone in town who could not pay for the medications they needed — and he asked her not to tell a soul.
For one decade, Childress delivered $100 to Walker on the first of every month. “When he first approached me, I thought it was a one-time thing and never did I anticipate it continuing on and on,” Walker said. “He just handed it to me very quietly,” Walker added.
“The best part of Hody is that he wanted no credit.”
The community’s need for help, Walker said, was great. “There were situations where someone’s child was sick and they were going to have to wait until Friday to get the medicine or not get it at all,” Walker said. Walker estimates that Childress contributed about $10,000 to pay for other people’s pharmacy bills.
“But I tried to pay attention when someone would come in and ask for a price on their medication — and then I could just tell by the way they reacted that it was going to be difficult for them,” she added. “Or sometimes they would even say, ‘OK, I’m not going to be able to get that today, but maybe I can come back Friday when I get paid.'”
“Walker said Childress never missed a month in contributions and that the fund contributed to grow.
But Childress suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — and in the last few months of his life, he was unable to leave his home to make his $100 delivery to the pharmacy. So, he confided in his daughter, Tania Nix, and leaned on her for help.
“One day he told me, ‘I’ve been doing something for a while and I would like to continue to do it as long as I’m alive.’” Childress told his daughter about his private mission and asked her to bring the customary $100 to Walker at the pharmacy — and not to tell anyone about it.
“He told me, ‘I give Brooke the liberty to choose how to spend that to help someone and just to tell them it’s a gift from the Lord,’” Nix said.
After Childress died and Nix was preparing for her dad’s service, she decided she wanted people to know about his kindness. “I had no clue [of] the depth of the story or the magnitude. I had no clue it was almost 10 years. He had never mentioned this to us.”
Walker said she has now taken calls from people around the country who want to continue the “Hody Childress fund.” “I spoke to a gentleman last night from Washington state, and he wanted to give me a year’s worth of donations in Hody’s name,” Walker said.
“He’s from Washington, and we’re in Alabama. No one will know him. He will not know who benefited —but in his heart, he loves people and he wants to help anyone to carry on Hody’s legacy,” she added.
The fund is active and anyone can contribute to it. “There’s still good in the world.”
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