It is said that the tiniest acts of compassion have the greatest impact. This became a reality in Geraldine, Alabama, when a modest farmer chose to give money on a regular basis to provide medicine for individuals in need.
In a community of barely 900 people, everyone knew each other. However, a good Samaritan kept his identity a secret for over 10 years after making a pharmacist agree not to reveal his identity while continuing to perform acts of kindness.
In 2012, Hody Childress established a monthly ritual of visiting Geraldine Drugs. Residents continue to congregate at the drugstore, where they exchange pleasantries while performing errands.
After a conversation with the store owner, Childress returned to the business one day.The proprietor mentioned at the time that there were a few families in town that couldn’t afford to pay for their drugs.
Childress returned to the store a few minutes later and handed the pharmacist a folded $100. “Don’t tell a soul where the money came from; if they ask, simply tell them it’s a Lord’s blessing,” he advised her.
Brooke Walker, the store’s owner, manager, and pharmacist, assumed it was a one-time occurrence. The next month, Childress returned to the store and I handed her a hundred bucks.
As the years passed, Childress never failed to stop by the business once a month to pay Walker $100. Walker’s fund swelled to thousands of dollars, and he ultimately began pulling money from it to aid individuals in need.
Unfortunately, Childress’ act of compassion was cut short when he developed the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which eventually killed him. He didn’t allow his illness to stop him from carrying on with his routine until he died. Tania Nix, his daughter, agreed to make the monthly delivery for him.
Nix was taken aback by her father’s gesture of charity, and she feels he was giving back to others in need since he was once in their shoes. She guessed correctly:
“I’m not sure what prompted Dad to start carrying $100 bills to the pharmacist, but I do know that my mother’s medications were pricey while she was ill. So it’s possible that had anything to do with it.
Walker couldn’t help but mention that Childress’ act of charity helped others enjoy longer lives. She would only use his fund to provide antibiotics and life-sustaining drugs, not painkillers.
She also used the money for non-medical purposes twice, once on a woman in an abusive relationship and once on an elderly man caring for his special needs son and his wife, who had broken her hip.
Most of Childress’ family members and the general public would learn about his generosity only after his death at the age of 80. “It was just who he was — it was in his heart,” his daughter Nix expressed.
Now that the community is aware of Childress’ generosity, his memory will live on through the Hody Childress Fund, which will continue to assist residents with their pharmacy expenditures.
After word of Nix’s father’s generosity went across town, a woman wrote to tell her that Childress’ money enabled her to get an EpiPen for her kid. Another woman reported how she burst into tears after learning that the drugstore had a fund that would assist her in paying for her and her daughter’s prescriptions.
Throughout it all, Nix disclosed that her father was not wealthy but rather charitable in nature. Childress’ love was farming, despite having worked in the Air Force and as a product manager before retirement. He found that driving his tractor was soothing, and he spent a lot of time helping neighbors with their vegetables.
Now that the community is aware of Childress’ generosity, his memory will live on through the Hody Childress Fund, which will continue to assist residents with their pharmacy expenditures. The charity he started quietly will now become much larger and benefit even more people—what an incredible legacy he left behind!