On Jan. 1, 2023, the small town of Geraldine, Alabama lost an angel. The former Air Force veteran, farmer, and generous donor, Hody Childress was known for his humility and kindness. In such a small town everyone knew Hody, but they didn’t know the true extent of his generosity. After he passed, his true compassion was brought to light.
For years Hody had been privately paying pharmaceutical bills for those in need of assistance.
"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 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,” said Walker. About 10 years ago, Hody went into Geraldine Pharmacy with more to offer than just food. He held a folded-up $100 bill in his hands and asked Walker to use it to help anyone in the town who needed assistance paying for their medications. He also requested that she not tell a soul and say it was simply a God-given gift. And this continued for an entire decade.
Walker said the community’s need for help was great and that she was able to help because of the generosity of Hody Childress. She serves patients with sick children who would have to wait until payday to get the medicine as well as elderly patients with cardiac issues who had no insurance policies, and even a mother who had insurance but was still unable to afford the EpiPen her child desperately needed.
“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.'"
Childress never missed a month in contributions, and his fund is growing as his legacy continues on.
Childress suffered from COPD and in his last few months, he was unable to make his monthly $100 delivery so he asked for help from his daughter, Tania Nix. "It got to where he couldn’t leave the house, so I was staying with him and going to the grocery store and running errands for him," said Nix, who is a hair stylist in nearby Ider, Alabama. Childress told his daughter about the privacy of his donations and asked her to bring the money to the pharmacy. After he had passed, Nix decided she wanted people to know about his monthly donations to the pharmacy. As Nix and Walker began to unfold the details of Hody’s story, they discovered that he had donated over $10,000 and helped countless people pay for their medications.
Walker says she has received calls from donors around the country who want to continue the “Hody Childress fund.” A man from Washington State wanted to give a year’s worth of Hody’s donations and another called from Miami.
"There are people who are wanting to reach out and help total strangers — just giving them that hope and that sense of feeling loved," Walker says.
Nix hopes Hody’s generosity catches on as there are people in all communities in need. "If everybody heard his story and thought, ‘Let me go to my pharmacy or think of a way that I can help somebody in my town,’ that just could be contagious." Hody was an inspiration and a light in this world, his legacy lives on and the ripple effect Nix hoped for has begun to be true.