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Phoenix preteen’s big heart, imagination lead to designing clothes for homeless

LISTEN: Phoenix preteen makes clothes for homeless

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A Phoenix boy has decided to use a newfound interest to help those less fortunate.

At Design U Fashion Design Camp in Scottsdale Fashion Square, kids are learning to sew. One of them wants to be a famous fashion designer.

Xavier Elliott, 10, is already creating clothes.

“Actually, I’m working on a dress right now,” Xavier said. “It has ruffles on the bottom of it.”

When he’s finished, he’s going to donate it to a homeless girl. He can relate to her situation.

“My mom used to be homeless, and she started sewing. I was thinking that I could help homeless people by sewing clothes for them,” Xavier said.

His mother, Stephanie Elliott, said, “We’ve been homeless on and off since he was born. My husband was in Iraq. When he came home with PTSD, we didn’t know about any help.”

Her husband turned to alcohol to cope. Elliott said that he tried unsuccessfully to get help through the VA. The family ended up in homeless shelters, and Xavier noticed how it was affecting children.

“He saw all the kids coming in with the clothes on their back, but didn’t have anything,” she said.

That was two years ago. Elliott’s husband eventually did get help at the VA center in Prescott. The family now lives in a home in west Phoenix.

When Xavier told Stephanie that he wanted to make clothes for the homeless, she started him in lessons.

“I actually contacted Joanne with the Design U Fashion Camp,” Elliott said. “She’s actually giving him a scholarship, and she’s going to take him under her wing and teach him all of the tips and tricks to make it easier and quicker.”

They are actually starting to help the homeless.

“I’ve already contacted UMOM New Day Center, and they said that when we get a shipment (of clothes) just to bring it down,” Elliott said.

The family is telling Xavier’s story on Facebook and @Xmansews on Twitter. The world is responding, with messages from Japan and North Korea.

Elliott is proud of her son and thinks that he’s turned his homeless experience into a positive lesson.

That lesson is that “Even though you’ve got bad situations you go through, it doesn’t mean you have to become bitter from it. You learn from it and you help people,” Elliott said.

Meanwhile, that the dress isn’t the only article of clothing that he’s working on right now.

“My favorite hero is Superman,” Xavier said. “I’ve drawn his symbol, and made the deadlines for pants. I think a cape with Velcro on it would be cool.”

If he gets done in time, that Superman at your door this Halloween might actually be Xavier, who actually is a hero, trying to help the homeless.