Alabama Farmer Secretly Paid Strangers’ Pharmacy Bills For 10 Years

The tiny town of Geraldine only learned of Hody Childress's philanthropy after his death.

Hody Childress

Tania Nix

On the first day of every month, Hody Childress would walk into his local pharmacy with a folded $100 bill. The Alabama farmer quietly handed the money to Brooke Walker, the owner of Geraldine Drugs, who used it to help families who couldn't afford 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,’” Walker recalled to The Washington Post.

Unbeknownst to his neighbors in the tiny town of Geraldine, Childress maintained that schedule for 10 years. He only stopped late last year, when the effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease left him too weak to make the trip.

Walker told The Post that Childress's $100 bills added up to thousands of dollars over the years. She was usually able to help two people a month who didn't have insurance or whose prescriptions weren’t covered.

When Childress died on New Year's Day at the age of 80, Walker decided it was time to go public with his philanthropy. She didn’t realize that Childress had confided in his daughter, Tania Nix, shortly before his death. Nix, who lives in nearby Ider, revealed her father’s secret pharmacy donations at his funeral.  

When the community learned what the elderly man living off a humble retirement account and social security had managed to do, they were stunned. 

"It was just who he was—it was in his heart," Nix told The Post. "He didn't spend a lot of money in life, but he always gave what he could. If he took you out to eat, you had to be quick to grab the ticket, or he was paying for it."

Walker said that the community has been keeping Childress’s legacy alive by making donations of their own. 

"We're calling it the Hody Childress Fund, and we're going to keep it going as long as the community and Hody's family wants to keep it alive," she said.

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