An Alabama farmer secretly paid strangers’ pharmacy bills

There are still good people in the world, and one Alabama farmer left a legacy of kindness in his small town. Hody Childress lived in Geraldine, Alabama, about 40 miles outside of Huntsville, and for the last 10 years of his life he anonymously donated to the local pharmacy. No, the pharmacy is not a charity, so donations are not something they are used to.

But Childress was on a mission to help its struggling townspeople access medicines that may be essential. Pharmacies are likely to see many people throughout the week or month who cannot afford the high cost of some of their prescriptions. I have personally seen pharmacists look up prices from other pharmacies to find the cheapest cost for the customer or use a GoodRx card to offset the cost.

Medications are not just there to make you feel better, some are there to keep you alive. But when the price is $600 and you have a steady income of $1,000 a month, surviving becomes infinitely more difficult. Childress didn’t want anyone in that position if he could avoid it, despite having a steady income himself.

A decade ago, Childress went to his local pharmacy, Geraldine Drugs, and spoke to owner Brooke Walker to find out if anyone in town was having trouble paying their pharmacy bills. When Walker confirmed it was a regular problem, Childress gave her a hundred-dollar bill and told her to use it for those who couldn’t afford her medication.

Walker told Good Morning America: “He gave me a bill and it was folded up. I couldn’t see what it was. He said, ‘Next time that happens I want you to use this to help them and I want it to be anonymous. I don’t want to know who you’re using it for and I don’t want them to know my name. I just want you to tell them it was a blessing from God.'”

In fact, Childress was so serious about keeping it a secret that he didn’t even tell his own kids until just before he died earlier this year, and they weren’t at all surprised.

“He told me that every first month he carried a $100 bill to the chemist in Geraldine and didn’t want to know who it was helping – he just wanted to make people happy with it.” Tania Nix, Childress’s daughter, revealed the Washington Post. Nix told the news outlet it was easy who her father was, saying, “He didn’t spend much money in life, but he always gave what he could.”

Childress was an Air Force veteran and eventually retired from Lockheed Martin in Huntsville, but always found joy in farming. “Every time he went to the post office, he would bring the postmaster an apple or some yams, squash, or okra that he had grown on his farm,” Nix told the Washington Post.

Kindness is not an act performed in front of a crowd. It’s the little things that add up to big things, and the things you do when no one is looking. Childress was a kind man and his monthly donation raised thousands of dollars to help his neighbors.

Check out the incredible story of kindness below: