- Hody Childress made anonymous monthly donations to a small pharmacy in Alabama.
- It wasn’t until his death on January 1 that the residents of Geraldine, Alabama, learned he had helped them afford medication.
- “There are so many people in Geraldine who have lived longer because of Hody,” a pharmacist told WVTM13.
When Hody Childress learned that the residents of his small Alabama town sometimes couldn’t afford their prescriptions, he made a deal with the local pharmacist that lasted until the end of his life.
In 2012, farmer and US Air Force veteran gave Brooke Walker, the owner of Geraldine Drugs, $100 after she told him that some people often cannot afford drugs. A month later, Walker told a local news station, Childress came back to the Geraldine store — 60 miles outside of Huntsville — with another $100.
Walker recalled the agreement in an interview with NBC affiliate WVTM13.
“‘Here, this $100 is for anyone who can’t afford their prescription,'” Childress said, according to Walker. “Don’t tell a soul that the money came from me. Tell them it’s a blessing from God.”
She continued, “He was a man of modest means. Giving $100 a month was quite a gesture. I knew he cared about helping people.”
Walker told the station she would put the money in an envelope. His contributions eventually went into the thousands, and the money helped at least two uninsured people each month, she told local news.
For the next 10 years Childress helped struggling neighbors in Geraldine unbeknownst to anyone other than Walker. He continued on his mission until chronic obstructive pulmonary disease made him too weak to make the trip to the pharmacy, the Washington Post reported.
“Every month, year after year, he would go to the drug store and give me $100. I kept my word not to tell anyone, not even family,” Walker told WVTM13.
On Jan. 1, Childress died at the age of 80, and his roommates eventually learned of the veteran’s decades-long donations to Geraldine Drugs.
“I was shocked – I had no idea he was helping people in the drugstore,” Tania Nix, daughter of Childress, told local broadcaster.
She told the Washington Post her father confided in her his arrangement just weeks before his death.
“He told me that every first month he took a $100 bill to the pharmacist in Geraldine and didn’t want to know who she was helping – he just wanted to bless people with it,” Nix said, according to the report.
Friends and family have agreed to keep the fund going in honor of Childress.
“There are so many people in Geraldine who have lived longer because of Hody,” pharmacist Heather Walker told WVTM13. “Hody was a truly humble servant who will always be loved.”