The world is full of stories of kindness and generosity, but few are as inspiring as the story of Hody Childress, an Air Force veteran and farmer from Geraldine, Alabama. For the past 10 years, Childress has been anonymously donating $100 bills to help those in Geraldine who couldn’t afford their prescriptions. His generosity only came to light after his death, when his children revealed his secret.
It all started when Childress walked into a pharmacy and asked if anyone ever needed help paying for their medicine. Pharmacist Brooke Walker said yes, and Childress handed her the first of many $100 bills. Walker said she was in disbelief, and that Childress’ kindness restored her faith in humanity.
One of the people who benefited from Childress’ generosity was Bree Schlageter. She was desperate and had no idea how she was going to pay for her prescription when Walker told her it was taken care of. Schlageter said it was a miracle.
Childress’ children weren’t surprised when they learned of his secret. Doug Childress said his father was not a wealthy man, but he was probably the richest man on earth with his heart. Tania Childress added that her father would say he was building up his riches for eternity.
The high cost of prescription drugs is a problem that extends well beyond rural Alabama. But as is often the case with kindness, sometimes a small deed can start a monumental movement. Proof of that shows up every day in the pharmacy mailbox, with people either donating to keep the fund going in Geraldine or pledging to start a fund at their pharmacy.
Doug and Tania said that generosity doesn’t take away their pain, but it does give it a purpose. In honor of their father, they hope his story will inspire others to pay it forward.