Alabama Farmer Secretly Paid His Neighbors' Pharmacy Bills for Years
Hody Childress quietly left cash at his local pharmacy for people who couldn't afford their medicine.
Just when you think everyone and everything in the world is awful, there comes a story like this that gives you hope.
In a recent article for the New York Times, Emily Schmall tells an incredible story of generosity and community. After the recent passing of Hody Childress, a farmer who lived in Geraldine, Ala., residents of the town learned that since 2010, Childress had been visiting the local pharmacy, Geraldine Drugs, and giving the pharmacist Dr. Walker a crisp $100 bill to help anyone who couldn't afford to pay for much-needed medication.
Speaking to the Times, Dr. Walker recalled Childress telling her, "'I want it to be anonymous. I don't want to know any details on who you use it on, just tell them this is a blessing from the Lord.'"
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Childress continued his monthly donations until 2022, when he became too ill to make the trip. At that point, he looped in his daughter, Tania Nix, to make his special deliveries.
One of the recipients of Childress's fund was Bree Schlageter, the mother of a 15-year-old boy who was in need of a lifesaving EpiPen, which is used to treat severe allergic reactions and costs, on average, $690. Schlageter says she started crying when the pharmacist reached into the cash envelope and informed her that it was taken care of, no charge.
Upon learning about the donor's identity, Schlageter was taken aback, telling the Times, "What he doesn't know, now that he's in heaven, is that he helped a kid that works on a farm that he started. Look at that circle."
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The Washington Post was the first to reveal Childress's generosity, and it has since inspired the hearts and wallets of like-minded people. Both Childress's daughter, Nix, and Dr. Walker say that they have received calls and messages on social media from people across the country who want to donate, with one saying that he was going to approach his local pharmacy to go about setting up a "Hody Childress account" for people in his town.
Nix explained that her father grew up poor, and he felt a calling to help those in need. "I think he felt like he couldn't not give," she told the Times. "Giving that way, that just got on his heart, and he felt like he needed to do it."