A veteran anonymously paid for people's prescriptions for a decade. After he died, others carried on his kindness.
Geraldine, Alabama — If you need your faith in humanity restored, a pharmacy in Geraldine, Alabama, has just the medicine for that.
It's a story of kindness that began 10 years ago when a man walked in and asked to speak with pharmacist Brooke Walker.
"I assumed he needed counsel on a medication," Walker said. "And that's when he said, 'Do you ever have anybody that can't pay for their medicine?'"
All the time, she told him.
"He said next time that happens, I want you to use this," Walker said.
The man handed her a $100 bill. It was the first of many $100 bills that he would donate — anonymously — to help those in Geraldine who couldn't afford their prescriptions, including people like Bree Schlageter.
"To be honest, I was desperate," Schlageter said. "I thought, 'What am I going to do?' I was defeated. And [Walker] said, 'It's taken care of.' And I said, 'How?'"
No one in Geraldine knew how. No one knew who, until a few weeks ago when the donor died and the full story came out.
His name was Hody Childress, an Air Force veteran and farmer.
His children Doug and Tania weren't surprised when they learned the secret.
"He was not a wealthy man, but he was probably the richest man on earth with his heart," Doug said.
"He would say he's building up his riches for eternity — not for here," Tania added.
In fact, they said Childress was nearly broke after spending more than $10,000 on other people's prescriptions.
The high cost of prescription drugs is a problem that extends well beyond rural Alabama. A humble farmer can only do so much to fix it. 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.
"That's just blown our mind," Doug said.
Doug and Tania say that generosity doesn't take away their pain, but it does give it a purpose.
"You made a big impression on people," Tania recently said at her father's gravesite.
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