Sitting in her white 2004 Pontiac Vibe one day in early July, Christina Sellers gave herself 10 minutes to cry.
The 33-year-old mother of two had just dropped her children off with their father and she allowed herself that brief window to let the difficulty of her situation wash over her.
"I told myself, 'You have 10 minutes to cry,'" Sellers said. "'Do the crying. Get it out, do the emotions. It's really hard. That's OK, Tina, feel that.'"
What Sellers was feeling was the weight of a difficult year. On top of the pandemic stress shared by most everyone, Sellers was going through a divorce, had moved with her children to a new city, Martinez, and lost her brother in a motorcycle accident. It was a crushing time, both emotionally and financially.
"I had a lot of bills to pay, a lot of debt that I'm working off," Sellers said. "I found myself in a position financially that I had $50 in my account."
That is what led Sellers to allow herself that brief breakdown in the front seat of her car. But that was going to be it.
"I also told myself, 'After 10 minutes, you're going to do something about it.'"
That "something" ended up being a soul-bearing post to the Martinez Raves and Rants Facebook page.
Spelling out her situation in detail, Sellers asked her new community for help, particularly people willing to hire her to clean their homes.
She expected maybe one or two jobs out of it.
"I never expected what happened to happen," Sellers said. "I got so many job offers and not just for cleaning."
In addition to the job offers, there was the donation of a laptop and a car seat for her children. Just as important to Sellers, though, were the countless words of welcome, support, and encouragement at the moment she needed them the most.
"I have been sobbing every day since," she said. "I didn't expect the generosity, the love, the support that I have received."
Sellers says every moment she is not with her children she is now busy cleaning for her many new clients. She is so swamped with work, she says, she may have to hire someone to help her.