“Don’t tell a soul where the money came from — if they ask, just tell them it’s a blessing from the Lord,” he said.
Giving assistance to those who are struggling should be a priority for anyone who has more resources than they know what to do with. The story of Hody Childress will restore your faith in humanity despite the fact that we rarely expect people with limited wealth and resources to help others. According to The Washington Post, a farmer from the rural community of Geraldine, Alabama, went out of his way to assist a neighbour without drawing attention to himself or expecting anything in return. This selfless act of assistance is considered to be of the highest quality.
Childress was able to get by on a modest income from his retirement savings, but he still wanted to do his part to assist others. Approximately ten years ago, he went to Geraldine Drugs and asked the owner, Brooke Walker, if there were any local households that were struggling to pay for their medication due to financial constraints.
Walker was able to recall, “I told him, ‘Yes, unfortunately, that happens often.’ And he handed me a $100 bill, all folded up.” He asked her to distribute it to everyone who could not buy their medicines. Moreover, he did not want anybody to know about his donation and told Walker, “Don’t tell a soul where the money came from — if they ask, just tell them it’s a blessing from the Lord.”
The following month, he visited Walker and handed him another $100 in folded-up cash. He continued to do this on a monthly basis for a number of years until he was unable to make the trip due to the effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease towards the end of the previous year. According to Walker, when Childress passed away on New Year’s Day at the age of 80, she made the decision to inform his family about the donations that had helped several hundred individuals in the farming community, which is located approximately 60 miles from Huntsville. Walker said that she decided to inform his family about the donations because they had helped several hundred people.
According to Tania Nix, who is Childress’s daughter, her father discussed the donation with her before he passed away. She explained that “It was just who he was — it was in his heart.” She added, “He didn’t spend a lot of money in life, but he always gave what he could. If he took you out to eat, you had to be quick to grab the ticket, or he was paying for it.” She goes into greater detail regarding the kind of man her father was and the manner in which he devoted his life to the care of other people. Peggy Childress, Nix’s mother, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at a young age and eventually lost the ability to walk. As a result, Nix’s father spent many years taking care of her and carrying her to and from the locations she desired to go.
In her words: “Everyone in town remembers my dad carrying her up to the top row of the bleachers to watch the Friday night ballgames at the high school. He continued to do that until he had heart surgery in 1998 and could no longer lift her.” Nix thinks that her mother’s medical bills might have inspired her father to donate to the pharmacy. She explained, “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.”
Nix and Walker were privy to a number of accounts of individuals who had received assistance from Childress in a covert manner. A mother who was unable to purchase an EpiPen for her son because it cost $600 was able to do so, but she did not find out who assisted her until after her son had passed away. Walker provided an example of a situation in which a single mother and her daughter, who both required medication that their insurance would not cover, were in the same situation. Walker asserted that the woman sobbed when she received the prescription along with the attached receipt after Walker had paid for the medication with money from Childress’s fund and had delivered it to her.
Walker conveyed his appreciation to Childress for the continued trust that he had placed in her with his monthly payment of $100. In addition, residents of Geraldine are contributing to the pharmacy in order to keep Childress’s name and legacy alive in the community. Walker stated, “We’re calling it the Hody Childress Fund, and we’re going to keep it going as long as the community and Hody’s family wants to keep it alive.”