We all want to be good people, but few of us try as hard as this humble farmer in Alabama did for over a decade…
Hody Childress delivered cash to his nearby pharmacy to help those in need once a month for years, and did so humbly. Now that he has passed, strangers have stepped in to continue in his generous spirit.
Hody Childress recently passed away this New Year’s Day, leaving behind children, grandchildren, and a full life. He had done many amazing things in his life, as he was an Air Force veteran, product manager at Lockheed Martin, and farmer in the town of Geraldine, Alabama.
Geraldine has a population of just 910 people and is located about sixty miles southeast of Huntsville. The small town life means that many locals know almost everything about one another. However, Hody managed to hide a very large secret of his for years.
Without telling anyone, he had been paying for the medical expenses and medications of countless town residents for the last decade. His donations were meant to cover expenses for locals who could not afford them.
It was back in 2012 that the man walked into Geraldine Drugs and asked for the owner, Brooke Walker and handed her a $100 bill.
“This $100 is for anyone who can’t afford their prescription,” he told her, according to Birmingham’s WVTM13, which broke the story. “Do not tell a soul that the money came from me. Tell them it’s a blessing from God.”
Childress’s generosity is even more impressive when you realize that his income came only from Social Security and a small pension. He continued handing the $100 over on the first of every month for the span of 10 years. Over time, his total donation summed together was therefore over $12,000!
His donations helped an average of two people per month, according to a story in the Washington Post, with prescriptions, medications and EpiPens. The only thing he asked of employees was that his donations not be used to fund pain pills.
Childress knew what it was like to not be able to afford basic needs. Growing up in poverty, he had no electricity in his house until he was seven. His grandfather and middle son died in a tornado in the 1970s, and his first wife had multiple sclerosis and died in 1999.
Late December of last year, the generous man was incapacitated by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It was then that he decided to admit to Tania Nix, his daughter, about what he had been up to.
“He was always a great man and a great father,” Nix says. “But I found out that he was more amazing than I ever knew.” It was at her father’s funeral on January 5 that Nix revealed his secret.
But the man’s passing this year has not stopped the pharmacy from receiving donations for its less-fortunate customers. Donations have been pouring in from people everywhere in memory of the man who used to stop in every month.
Geraldine Drugs has now set up a Hody Childress Fund to preserve the man’s legacy and to help the money that strangers continue to donate go to the right place.
If interested in contributing, you can mail a check made out to the Hody Childress Fund to:
P.O. Box 158
Geraldine, AL 35974