A special transaction between two people in the small town of Geraldine, Alabama, that happened every month for a decade ended up helping more than 200 individuals.
It started one day in 2012 when resident Hody Childress walked into Geraldine Drugs and asked for the owner. He handed pharmacist and co-owner Brooke Walker a $100 bill, saying it was for “anyone who can’t afford their prescription.” Walker told Birmingham’s WVTM13 News she was instructed “not to tell a soul where the money came from” and to tell anyone who asked that “it’s a blessing from God.”
Childress brought $100 to the pharmacy monthly for a decade and would provide more whenever possible. He instructed Walker to use the funds at her discretion for families who needed extra help covering prescriptions. Childress’ kindness helped an average of two people each month with medication costs — that’s more than 240 individuals. His only stipulation was that the money couldn’t be used to cover pain pills.
Childress did not have an abundance of cash — he lived off a small pension and Social Security checks. He served in the Air Force and worked several jobs throughout his life, including as a farmer and employee for Lockheed Martin. Childress also suffered several tragedies: In 1973, he lost his son in a tornado and he used to carry his wife, who suffered from multiple sclerosis and passed away in 1999, into the stands on Friday nights to see football games.
Childress, age 80, died on New Year’s Day, after battling with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other health issues. He will be remembered as an individual who truly wanted to help — and wanted no recognition in return.
At his funeral last month, Childress’ daughter, Tania Nix, revealed the secret to the community. Her father asked her to help deliver the funds when his health started diminishing. Up until that point, she had no idea about his monthly mission.
Childress’ generosity has now become contagious. Geraldine Drugs has been inundated with donations from those both near and far. The pharmacy created a Hody Childress Fund in his honor to continue helping those who need it most.