The best virtue of all is charity. The love of one’s neighbor is a manifestation of man’s fellowship with God.
These days, there is a lot of animosity floating about. Cultural conflicts are raging. Politicians deceive. Both actual conflicts and war rumors exist.
Then there is Geraldine, Alabama, resident Hody Childress, a retired farmer.
According to the Washington Post, about ten years ago, Childress entered Geraldine Drugs and inquired with owner Brooke Walker about any local families that were unable to pay for their prescription drugs.
“I told him, ‘Yes, unfortunately, that happens often and he handed me a $100 bill, all folded up,” Walker said.
Walker was instructed by Childress to use it for anyone who needed help paying for their medicines.
“Don’t tell a soul where the money came from. If they ask, just tell them it’s a blessing from the Lord,” Walker said.
And that was only the start.
Indeed, because Childress came back a month later and gave Waller another $100 bill, and for years, he repeated this each month, till the end of last year. Childress became too weak from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to make the trip, unfortunately.
But this doesn’t change the fact that Hody Childress quietly made the world a better place. He just distributed part of his meager resources to individuals who needed medicine but couldn’t pay for it. And not even inquire as to whether the people in need were conservatives, liberals, or either Republicans or Democrats.
Sadly, at the age of 80, Childress passed away on New Year’s Day. The post added that Walker made the decision to inform his family of the donations that had aided several hundred residents in the little farming community.
However, Childress’s daughter, Tania Nix, was already aware. Before his passing, her father had told her about his charitable contributions; and at her father’s funeral, Nix planned to tell people of her father’s generosity.
“He told me he’d been carrying a $100 bill to the pharmacist in Geraldine on the first of each month, and he didn’t want to know who she’d helped with it. He just wanted to bless people with it,” Nix told the Post.
Her father was a humble man and he was always willing to lend a hand to people in need, although he was supported by Social Security and modest retirement savings, Nix said.
“If what he did could touch one person and let them know there’s still goodness in the world, it’s worth it. It’s what my dad would have wanted,” Nix continued.
Childress’ story proves that there is still goodness in the world to anyone who hears it. With his $100 bills month after month, Walker feels honored that Childress trusted her to do the right thing.
She told the Post, “His kindness motivated me to be more of a compassionate person. He was just a good old guy who wanted to bless his community, and he certainly did. He established a legacy of kindness.”
Now that he is gone, People in Geraldine want to keep Childress’ legacy of charity alive, by dropping by the drugstore with donations of their own, as Walker said.
She said, “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 want to keep it alive.”
Pausing to remember men like Childress does a soul good, in a world filled with animosity and chaos.