Every now and then, generous people grace our lives and make them brighter. Sometimes those people are anonymous and do so out of the kindness of their hearts, rather than for the credit, as is the case with Hody Childress. He donated $100 a month to help pay for his neighbors’ prescriptions, and no one knew about it until after his death.
It’s no secret that healthcare can be expensive, especially for Americans without insurance. While other countries have universal healthcare and affordable prices for prescriptions, America’s healthcare is run similarly to a business. Most hospitals and pharmaceutical companies maximize profits while leaving the average American with a hefty bill, oftentimes leading to debt.
Childress grew up and spent his whole life in the small town of Geraldine, Alabama. He humbly worked as a farmer and at the nearby Lockheed Martin Space facility. He was known to have strong faith in God, and he worked every day to ensure that love was reflected through his actions. Many neighbors witnessed his kindness firsthand.
Childress would send his neighbors handwritten get-well cards when he heard they were sick or on the mend from an ailment. Furthermore, he was known to share the vegetables he grew in his garden. Although he put forth every effort to show kindness, his gesture to pay for prescriptions was completely anonymous. The prescriptions were purchased secretly, and he did this for nearly a decade.
In that time, he managed to donate almost $12,000 to his community. When he first approached the pharmacist, he wanted to make it clear that he didn’t want anyone to know. Brooke Walker had been a pharmacist at the town’s drugstore for two years, and Mr. Childress was a regular customer. Although they knew one another, Walker had no idea what to expect when she was approached by Mr. Childress.
A Beacon of Light
“He pulled me to the side and said, ‘Do you ever have anybody that can’t pay for their medication?’ and I said, ‘Well, yeah, unfortunately, that happens a good bit.” When he heard this, he immediately handed her a folded $100 bill and said, “Next time that happens, will you use this? Don’t tell where it came from, and don’t tell me who needed it, just say it’s a blessing from the Lord.”
Eventually Mr. Childress grew ill and was no longer able to leave his house. However, he still felt driven to make his secret $100 monthly donation for prescriptions. It was then that his daughter, Tania Nix, got involved. He asked her to do him the favor of continuing to make his monthly donations for prescriptions and, above all else, keep it a secret.
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Donating to the Cost of Prescriptions
Tania explained, “He said, ‘I’ve been doing something for a while and I would like to continue doing this,'” Ms Nix said. “He said, ‘I want you to take a $100 bill up to the drugstore, at the first of the month, as long as I’m alive.‘” She also said she wasn’t surprised by his gesture to help their community pay for costly prescriptions. She said of the Air Force Veteran, “he cared deeply for his community and country and always sought to help others any way he could.”
Leaving, not Without a Legacy
Sadly, on January 1st, 2023, Hody Childress passed away at the age of 80. Moreover, the town still had no idea of the man’s secret act, and Tania expressed hesitation when coming forward regarding the prescriptions. Her father wanted to remain anonymous, and she had always wanted to respect his wishes.
On the other hand, she wanted people to know how precious and wonderful a man her father was. She decided on the day of his funeral; she would share his secret. Gathered by friends, family, and loved ones in the community, she explained the great man that was her father. After sharing, she was approached by a community member who shared that Mr. Childress likely helped cover the cost of her son’s $600 epi-pen prescriptions.
Generosity Inspires the Nation
The story was reported in The Washington Post and has since inspired countless acts of kindness. Ms. Walker reports that her pharmacy began receiving calls nationwide from people. They’ve been inspired and want to continue making donations toward costly prescriptions. Daughter, Tania, has expressed that while the country seems to become increasingly divided, her father’s gesture has been a welcome reminder of the importance of treating one another with kindness. She said, “People do care, and there’s hope out there.”
Not all heroes wear capes. Some heroes are sweet, elderly folks who try to help those around them at every given opportunity. Hody Childress spent years in the public eye, making his community a better place. Moreover, he went further to secretly help his community pay for costly prescriptions. As a result, he may have saved or prolonged many lives.
Keep Reading: Woman’s Simple Act Of Kindness Saved A Homeless Man’s Life
- “Alabama Man secretly helped pay strangers’ prescriptions for years.” BBC News. Chelsea Bailey. January 21, 2023.
- “Alabama town learns Farmer secretly paid People’s Pharmacy Bills.” The Guardian. Ramon Antonio Vargas. January 20, 2023.