Stephanie Elliot said she was completely taken by surprise when her son, Xavier Elliot, told her that he wanted to make clothes for homeless children, after learning what it was like to be homeless himself.
"I think it affected him a lot," Elliot of Pheonix, Arizona told ABC News. "Losing everything, having to start all over again, and seeing all the other kids in shelters — some of them were coming in from domestic violence and all they had were the clothes on their backs. So, he saw the need for it when we were in there."
Once outfits are completed, Elliot said she and Xavier plan on donating them to a UMOM Day Center in Phoenix, among many other family shelters.
Now settled in a home, Elliot said she mends clothing for extra income, which is how Xavier got the idea to help out kids who are less fortunate.
Elliot, a mom of three, said she and her family were left displaced for nine years after her husband, a disabled veteran, was unable to receive the necessary treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder.
Xavier has already attended a design fashion camp and, with his mother's help, will perfect the skills he's learned to start making clothes for young people — including a special "Ninja Turtles" dress for a little girl who, Elliot said, lost her home in a fire.
"I sit out in my office sewing and he keeps me company," Elliot said. "I was actually sewing a purse one day and he said he wanted to save his allowance to make clothes for homeless kids. I really never saw it coming."
Soon, Elliot said a friend encouraged her to make a Facebook page to advertise Xavier's new project titled "Clothes for Charity by the Elliott Family."
"I posted it there and a couple of sewing groups I'm in and it was a huge hit," she said. "I started getting emails from different news channels and we got a ton of fabric donations."
When he returns from summer camp later this week, Elliot said, Xavier will be thrilled to expand the cause, which began earlier this month with the "Ninja Turtles" dress.
"He said 'Do you think they’ll have outlets [at summer camp] so I can take my sewing machine?' she said, laughing. "I told him to go and have fun."