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How A Secret Act Of Kindness Became One Man’s Legacy of Love: “It Is Better To Give Than Receive!”

After losing their dad, Tania and Doug started the Hody Childress Fund to continue his legacy of kindness

With her father Hody Childress’ health declining, Tania Nix, 60, went to stay with him in his Geraldine, Alabama, home. She helped around the house, took care of his bills and did his grocery shopping. As she prepared to go out one day, her dad handed her $100 and asked her to stop at Geraldine Drugs and give it to the owner, Brooke Walker. “She’ll know what to do with it,” he told Tania.

When she tried to press for more information, Hody simply said, “It’s better to give than to receive; that’s all I’m going to say about it.” Tania did as her father asked, and Brooke thanked her, but didn’t say what the money was for either, honoring the promise she’d made to Hody.

It had been nearly a decade earlier when Hody, an Air Force veteran, walked into the drugstore and gave Brooke $100 to help cover the costs for customers who couldn’t afford to pay for their medication. He only asked that she keep his identity anonymous.

“Tell them it’s a little blessing from God,” the soft-hearted Hody, a Christian, told Brooke.

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Brooke was stunned, even more so when Hody began donating at least $100 every month in secret to what Brooke started calling the Hody Childress Fund. But as his health deteriorated, he wanted to be sure his neighbors in need were taken care of.

“I want you two to carry on this tradition,” he told Tania and her brother, Doug, 53. “Whether it’s medicine or something else people need.” Tania and Doug were awed. How can we not keep this up? they thought.

Tania (right) with Doug (left) and Hody (center)
“Dad had such a generous heart,” says Tania (right) with Doug (left) and Hody (center)Hody Childress Fund

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After Hody passed away on New Year’s Day 2023 at 80, Tania and Doug went to the bank and withdrew the little money left in their father’s account. There happened to be a drugstore right next door to the bank — and right across from the cemetery where Hody is buried. “Let’s do this!” they said and walked into the store.

They donated their father’s remaining money. And ever since, most months, Tania gives about $100 to Ider Discount Drugs, Inc. in her town of Ider, Alabama, and Doug continues the regular donations to Geraldine Drugs.

The town of Geraldine has adopted April 24th as Hody Childress Day to encourage people to do random acts of kindness in memory of Hody. On that day, Tania and Doug have passed out hot dogs, drinks and chips to strangers, and have walked into restaurants to hand people $5 bills to apply toward their meals.

They would do anything to honor their father, who was an excellent caregiver to their mother, who died with multiple sclerosis in 1999. Tania believes her parents’ struggles to pay for her mom’s medications inspired her dad to want to help others.

Customers who have benefited from the Hody Childress Fund are inspired to pay the kindness forward, and many later donate some cash back. Tania and Doug know their dad is very happy and proud.

Hody's Heart banner hangs on a fence in the town
Hody’s Heart banner hangs on a fence in the townHody Childress Fund

“Dad was not a Bill Gates; he was on a fixed income,” says Tania. “Yet he was dedicated to do this. I would have never dreamed it went as far as it did—how many people and how many lives it’s touched.”

For more comforting stories about God’s plan, keep reading…

Family Adopts Five Siblings From Foster Care: “God Made a Way and Love Made It Possible!”

Star Lineman Jason Brown Quits NFL And Starts A Farm To Feed The Hungry: “God Laid It On My Heart!”

Grammy-nominated Musician With Missing Fingers Adopts Boy With Same Birth Defect: “It Was All God’s Plan!”

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