Pheonix, Arizona – Many little boys choose to spend their allowance on games and snacks, but 10-year-old Xavier Elliot decided to use his allowance of $10 a week for a greater cause. After a talk with his mom, Xavier said he wanted to start a new project, and this is when Clothes for Charity was created.
Clothes for Charity donates handmade clothes, designed by the Elliot family, to homeless kids in Arizona. Xavier chose to help the homeless because he too was once in their positi
“Vincent (Xavier’s father) was in Iraq in 2003, a year before Xavier was born,” said Stephanie, Xavier’s mom. “Life was hard with all the news coverage and not hearing from him very much.”
When Xavier’s father returned, life became even harder. According to Stephanie, he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, and the family was having difficulty getting help from the state.
“We kept going to the VA but they would keep trying to push the same medications that didn’t work and didn’t listen at all.”
Xavier’s family spent time in and out of about six different homeless shelters before life turned around for him. Eventually the state stepped in and was able to help get the Elliot family off of the streets. Xavier acknowledged how lucky he was and feels it’s essential for people to give back, especially after an experience like his.
“My son and I were talking while I was working on my purses and he said something that really blew me away,” Stephanie posted on her Facebook page. “We were discussing daddy’s present for Father’s Day, a chef’s apron and a hat.”
This is when Xavier informed his mother that he wanted to start using his allowance to make clothes for homeless kids. Stephanie then taught him the basics of how to use the sewing machine, and how to stitch together designs.
He now spends his free time making clothes that he hopes to donate to shelters in Arizona including the Salvation Army, Crisis Nursery, and UMOM New Day Center, one of the largest family homeless shelters in Phoenix.
“It’s important to give back because I have been blessed with so much that it’s important to share,” Xavier said.
His family is supporting him every step of the way. His mother has even created a Facebook page to help with Xavier’s project. Its aim is to generate awareness as well as donations such as fabric, mannequins, money and any other useful resources.
Xavier comes from a family who is big on giving back. His father is a volunteer for the Honor Guard, and his mother runs a resource group called Arizona Veteran Families. Clothes for Charity is just another check on their list of good deeds.
“We have been in some very rough spots, if it weren’t for the shelters and the selfless people who work there, who knows where we would’ve ended up.”
Now that they are in the position to give back, the Elliot family plans on doing what they can to keep Clothes for Charity running for years to come.
“The overall goal is to inspire others to help where they can. Even if it’s buying someone a meal, you have made a great impact on their life. Children are so impressionable, this is going to mean a lot to them. You never know, it may inspire them to give back as they get older.”