A farmer from Alabama quietly paid the pharmacy bills of those in need for ten years. His family members only found out at his funeral, where the pharmacist disclosed his constant act of kindness.
They say the smallest acts of kindness make the biggest impact. This became a reality for the small town of Geraldine, Alabama when a simple farmer decided to donate money monthly to fund medicine for people in need.
In a town with only 900 residents, everybody knew everybody. However, a good samaritan remained anonymous for almost ten years after he made a pharmacist promise not to disclose his name for him to continue with his acts of kindness.
Choosing to Make a Difference
In 2012, Hody Childress started a tradition where he’d make his way to Geraldine Drugs once a month. The drugstore remains a meeting place for residents, where they’d exchange pleasantries while running their errands.
One day, Childress walked back inside the store after a conversation with the store owner struck him. At the time, she revealed that there were a few families in town who could not afford to pay for their medications.
Moments after leaving the store, Childress went back in and handed the pharmacist a folded hundred-dollar bill. “Don’t tell a soul where the money came from — if they ask, just tell them it’s a blessing from the Lord,” he told her.
Helping those Struggling to Pay
Brooke Walker, the owner, manager, and pharmacist at the store, thought it was a one-time thing. However, the following month, Childress again walked into the store and handed her a hundred dollars.
As years went by, Childress never forgot to drop by the store every month to give 100 dollars. His fund grew to thousands of dollars, and Walker eventually started taking some money from the fund to help those who were struggling.
Unfortunately, his act of kindness was put to a stop when a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease weakened him and eventually took his life. Before he died, he didn’t let the illness stop him from continuing the routine. He tapped his daughter, Tania Nix, to make the monthly delivery for him.
His Family Didn’t Know of the Routine
The act of kindness surprised her, and she believes her father might have been giving back to those who needed help because he was once in their place. She guessed:
“I’m not sure exactly what inspired him to start taking $100 bills to the drugstore, but I do know that when my mom was sick, her medications were expensive. So maybe that had something to do with it.”
Walker couldn’t help but share that Childress’ act of kindness actually helped people live longer. She wouldn’t use his fund to provide painkillers – only antibiotics and life-sustaining medication.
On two occasions, she also used the money for non-medical reasons. She used it once on a woman who was in an abusive relationship and another on an elderly man who was taking care of his special needs son and his wife who had broken her hip.
The Generous Donor was Finally Named
It would only be shortly after his death at the age of 80 that people would learn of his generosity. “It was just who he was — it was in his heart,” his daughter Nix expressed.
Now that the town knows of Childress’ generosity, his legacy will continue through the Hody Childress Fund, which will continue to help members of the community with their pharmacy bills.
After news of her father’s generosity spread throughout town, a woman wrote to her to share that Childress’ money allowed her to buy her son an EpiPen. Another woman recalled how she burst into tears after she was told that there was a fund in the pharmacy that would help her pay for her and her daughter’s prescription.
Through it all, Nix revealed that her father was not a wealthy man – he was simply generous in nature. Despite having worked in the Air Force and as a product manager before retirement, Childress’ passion was farming. Using his tractor was therapeutic for him, and he spent a lot of time helping neighbors with their gardens.
The Internet Shows Support for Hody
People on the internet made sure to share how Childress’ selflessness touched their hearts. They flocked to the comment section of the story, where they said:
“Random acts of kindness just might be the best kind of medicine for our world today.” – Laura Naughton (January 20, 2023)
“Hody Childress, what a wonderful, generous man! Thank you for blessing us all with your exceptional kindness while on earth.” – Luis Hernandez (January 20, 2023)
“What a nice man. Those that give without wanting anything in return seem rare. But since they don’t want people to know of their kindness we don’t know about them.” – Gary Williams (January 19, 2023)
Now that the town knows of Childress’ generosity, his memory will live on through the Hody Childress Fund, which will continue to help members of the community with their pharmacy bills. The fund he began so quietly will now grow a lot bigger and help more people in the process – what an amazing legacy he left behind.
Click here to read the story of a 69-year-old widow in Idaho who received a new car and $1000 from a Secret Santa who anonymously donates at least a million every year to give to less fortunate members of his community.