Geraldine, AL

He secretly paid for strangers' prescriptions; after his death, a grateful community gave him a big honor

Pete Lakeman
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Hody Childress, an Air Force veteran, passed away on New Year's Day but his legacy will continue impacting many people in Geraldine, Alabama, and beyond. He later worked as a product manager at Lockheed Martin In Huntsville. He lived off a modest retirement account and Social Security. That did not stop him from giving back to his community. For about 10 years, Childress would walk to the local pharmacy and hand them $100 in a folded bill.

This generous act started when he asked the store owner, Brooke Walker if there were any people in the town who could not pay for their prescriptions. Walker responded that indeed there were many people that had a hard time paying for their medications. After handing Walker the first of his many $100 donations, Childress request that not a single soul should be told where the money came from. He repeated this generous act every month until he became too weak to walk in the last months of 2022. Every month Walker was able to help at least two people who would otherwise be unable to pay for their medications.

Childress faced life with an undying spirit full of optimism. In 1973 life hit him quite hard when he lost his brother and grandfather in a tornado. He found his happy place working with his tractor and would often help his neighbors. It’s reported that he would take some treats to the postmaster every time he would go to the post office.

When his wife lost the ability to walk from MS, Childress continued to care for her and would carry her to the places she wanted to go. In a display of unconditional love, he would carry her up to the top rows of the bleachers to watch Friday night football at the local high school. He only stopped carrying her after having heart surgery after which it would have been too strenuous.

Before his death, Childress revealed his decade of generosity to his daughter. Now, a fund has been established in his name and many donations have poured in. They will be used to continue giving assistance to those who have trouble paying for their medications.

Disclaimer: This article was written for educational and informational purposes only.

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I'm credentialed social studies and biological sciences teacher with over twenty years of classroom experience. I'm an avid gardener and tech DIYer and I love nature walks.

California State

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