After Veteran Dies, Town Learns He Paid For Their Medicines For 10 Years
Jan 24, 2023 by apost team
A town in Alabama is grateful for a former Air Force veteran and farmer who was secretly footing the bills of his neighbors' prescription medications for more than ten years. They only found out about his generosity after his death.
Hody Childress of Geraldine, Alabama, had an arrangement with the local pharmacy, where he donated $100 a month for those who could not afford to buy their medicines. He specifically asked the pharmacy's owner, Brooke Walker, never to tell anyone about his donations.
But the cat is now out of the bag after Childress passed away on Jan. 1, 2023, and his children were informed of his charitable act. Walker had to tell his family just how much their father's $100-monthly donations have helped hundreds of people in their small town.
Childress was not a rich man and was living off his retirement savings and his Social Security benefits. After the Air Force, he worked as a product manager for Huntsville's Lockheed Martin, an arms and defense company, until his retirement.
The retiree also loved to farm and often gave some of his harvest of apples, okra, squash and sweet potato to the city workers at the post office. He'd spend his time teaching neighbors how to grow their own gardens as well.
In an interview with Washington Post, Tania Nix, Childress' then-58-year-old daughter, described her dad as a humble man who was not a big spender. However, he was always generous with people and would be the first to pay for a movie ticket or a meal.
Childress had his share of hardships after losing his brother and grandfather to a tornado in the '70s. He looked after his wife, Peggy, who had multiple sclerosis, and carried her wherever she wanted to go until she died in 1999.
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Nix surmised that her father might have been motivated to donate $100 a month to the pharmacy as he knew the high cost of medications based on her mother's illness. Days before his death, Nix said her father confided about his secret donations:
"He told me he'd been carrying a $100 bill to the pharmacist in Geraldine on the first of each month, and he didn't want to know who she'd helped with it — he just wanted to bless people with it."
Nix said that people have come up to her to express their gratitude. One mom told her that her father's money paid for her son's $600 EpiPen:
"She said it brought her tremendous relief as a mother, and she couldn't thank my dad enough."
Walker's memory of Childress walking up to her store to ask about families having a hard time buying medicines is still fresh in her mind:
"He said, 'Don't tell a soul where the money came from — if they ask, just tell them it's a blessing from the Lord.'"
In 2022, when he could not longer make the trips because of his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Childress had a relative, Ashley Sargent, bring the money, but she also didn't know what it was for.
Walker said the money covered the medicines of at least two people a month, especially those who didn't have insurance. The veteran told her to use her judgment in choosing who should benefit from his donations, and she's honored that he trusted her with his money.
Childress generous act has inspired the Hody Childress Fund, where locals may donate to help cover other people's pharmacy bills. Donors may also send a check directly to the fund at P.O. Box 158 Geraldine, AL 35974.
Do you find it more impressive for someone to do a good deed in secret? What do you think of Hody Childress's kind act? Pass this feel-good story to someone who needs to read it!