“Don’t tell anyone where the money came from,” Hody Childress told Brooke Walker, who owns a pharmacy in the small town of Geraldine, Alabama. Now, on the occasion of the funeral of this farmer and veteran of the United States Air Force, the neighbors have discovered that for a decade this man, who died at the age of 80, was a kind of guardian angel for the poor and sick. from the city.
Described by his neighbors as quiet and humble, Childress began his undercover charity campaign when he visited Geraldine’s local pharmacy and learned that too many of the town’s 900 residents could not afford their prescriptions.
In 2010, Hody Childress walked into Geraldine Drugs and told the pharmacist, ‘I have a question, have you ever had someone who can’t afford their medication?’ She replied that this was quite common. The farmer then handed her a hundred-dollar bill and said, “Next time that happens, I want you to wear this,” the woman recalled. “’I want it to be anonymous. I don’t want to know any details about who you use it on, just tell them it’s a blessing from God,’” she told him.
A benefactor with a hard life
A month later, the benefactor returned to the pharmacy to deliver another $100 bill, with exactly the same instructions: “Don’t tell anyone the money came from me, tell them it’s a blessing from God.”
Childress’s life was not easy. She grew up in poverty, surviving with her family on subsistence farming and small game hunting. Her house had no electricity until she Childress was about 7 years old. She lost her father and her son in 1973 to a tornado. And in 1999 his first wife died of multiple sclerosis, whom he used to take to the stands to watch local soccer games.
Childress, an Air Force veteran, worked at Lockheed Martin for about 20 years until he retired in 2001, his son Douglas explained to The New York Times.
When he couldn’t, his daughter followed
The man returned on the 1st of every month with the same motivation for years, until at the end of 2022, due to being unable to walk due to lung disease and other health complications, he decided he needed help. So he entrusted the task to his daughter, Tania Nix.
“I was surprised, I had no idea that I was helping people in the pharmacy,” the daughter told WVTM television. At Childress’s funeral on Jan. 5, Nix told the story of her father’s decade-long donation and how he was able to cover the price of expensive medications for two Geraldine residents a month.
After word spread that they had an angel among them who had passed away, the people of the town, and other parts of the state, agreed to carry on his legacy. “There are so many people in Geraldine who have lived longer because of Hody…” said pharmacist Brooke Walker. “Hody was a true humble servant who will always be loved.”
About 19% of the population of Geraldine lives below the poverty line, and from what can be seen on the social networks of its City Council, in this town its neighbors tend to help each other.
According to The New York TimesAlabama spends less than the US national average on Medicaid, state and federal health insurance for the poor and vulnerable, and Alabama’s rulers have refused to extend the program under the Health Care Act a Low Price, popularly known as Obamacare, in force since 2010.