Xavier Elliot, 10, knows how it feels to be homeless. When his father, an Iraqi War veteran, came back to the US, he struggled to provide for his family. Xavier and his family lived in six different shelters before they were able to get a house. So when Xavier saw his mom making a purse on her sewing machine, he had an idea. He could buy sewing supplies with his pocket money and make clothes for the homeless! When Stephanie, Xavier’s mom, heard his plan, she was touched by his concern and decided to help him. She began teaching him how to sew and asked for donations of fabric and sewing supplies. Soon the donations began to come in... material, pins & needles, zippers, snaps, even money for a new sewing machine. Xavier is now learning how to make clothes and hopes to encourage others to help too.
Miles away, in Bremerton, Washington, a nine-year-old girl is also spending her free time helping the homeless. Hailey Fort was just five when she saw a homeless man on the street and asked her mom to buy him a sandwich. A year later, Hailey decided to plant a garden so she could feed more people. But homeless people need shelter as well as food. Hailey told her parents that she wanted to build a small mobile sleeping shelter for one of her friends, a homeless man named Edward. Hailey’s mom applied for a grant to fund the project, and soon the building began. (Hailey also received many donations which she used to expand her garden and buy building materials.) With the help of her mom, Hailey built the entire shelter herself, finally finishing it off with a few coats of paint. Hailey wants to build 11 more shelters with the funds she has, and give away 250 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables from her garden this year.