ESTO - Some people say a couple that prays together will stay together. And when it comes to Jessie Register and her better half Horace Russell, prayer mixed with charity is the literal force keeping them together.
For nearly six years, the couple has dedicated themselves to volunteering their time to the Esto Fire Department bi-weekly FarmShare food distribution events held the first and third Thursday of the month at 4 p.m. at Esto Park.
"My husband has cancer, but this gives him purpose," Register said. "The people up here, and giving away the food pushes him to keep fighting."
Russell, 57, was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma cancer about a year ago. However, the process of giving to people in need is something that has become dear to his heart and has given him strength, according to Register.
"Everybody up there loves him," she said. "They love him to death. And he's going to do it until he can't do it no more."
The FarmShare boxes vary in sizes, however, they include various food items at no cost to the recipient. Since Hurricane Michael struck the area on Oct. 10, the number of food boxes given away has increased from 60 to about 100, according to Register.
No identification or proof of income is required and the recipient does not have to be from Holmes County. Donations are accepted, as well.
"We treat everybody like family," Register said.
Register and Russell got involved with the food distribution through their daughter who used to work at the Esto Fire Station. After the first time, Register knew it was something she would do for many years to come.
Even more, the distribution is, technically, keeping them together. So much so that Register has vowed to continue the distribution even after or in the case that her husband can no longer be there.
"I'm going to continue to do it until the Lord says I won't be able to," she said. "I promised (my husband) I wouldn't give up and I'll keep doing it until God tells me I can't."
The next distribution will be held 4 p.m. Feb. 7 at Esto Park; tickets for food boxes will be distributed as early as 11 a.m.
For more information, contact Jessie Register at 850-768-0601 or the Esto Fire Department at Esto Town Hall, 850-263-9787.