The small town of Geraldine, Alabama will never be the same after the passing of their guardian angel, Hody Childress. However, the people most impacted by his actions did not know until it was too late to thank him.
Childress was not a particularly wealthy man - a retired farmer, he had been living off of his retirement savings, the Washington Post reported. Suddenly, he felt an urge to do some good for the people in his community, and turned to his local drugstore.
According to the report, Childress walked into Geraldine Drugs and privately asked the shop owner if there were families in town without the ability to pay for their medications. When she confirmed this was a problem, he sprung into action. “He handed me a $100 bill, all folded up.”
He gave specific instructions to use that money on anyone who needed help paying for their medications.
“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,’” owner of Geraldine Drugs, Brooke Walker, said.
This payment became a monthly routine for years on end. This good deed continued until late in 2022 when he became too weak from his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to make it to the pharmacy.
The passing of Hody Childress on New Years Day, 2023 became what the family saw as the perfect time to reach out to those he helped.
His small farming community, just 60 miles from Huntsville, Alabama, has greatly felt the impact of this man's actions.
It's all adding up
Through the years, his payments amounted to thousands of dollars. However, he had still confided in his favorite local pharmacist before passing. According to the Independent, his generosity had paid for at least two uninsured patients medications per month.
Her father was a simple, kind man who lived off a small retirement account and Social Security, but he never hesitated to help those in need, she stated
“He didn’t spend a lot of money in life, but he always gave what he could,” Childress' daughter Tania Nix told The Washington Post. “If he took you out to eat, you had to be quick to grab the ticket, or he was paying for it.”
Shortly after his passing, community members learned who was covering their pharmacy bills. One person specifically reached out to his daughter to share their experience with such a pleasant surprise. The patient was a mother who urgently needed to pay for an Epi-Pen for her child's allergies.
“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.’”Brooke Walker
“She wrote to me, saying she never knew who had helped her until my dad died,” Nix said. “She said it brought her tremendous relief as a mother, and she couldn’t thank my dad enough.”
This small, rural town was touched forever by the commitment of a single person, and this town will never be the same.