A handwritten letter by a little boy asking Santa for a “very good dad” has captured hearts worldwide.
The boy, known only as “Blake” in the letter, is currently living in a domestic violence shelter called SafeHaven of Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas.
The heart-wrenching letter was shared by the emergency shelter on their official Facebook group. They wrote that his mom found the letter in his backpack a few weeks ago.
In the note, Blake writes: “We had to leave our house. Dad was mad. We had to do all the chores. Dad got everything he wanted. Mom said it was time to leave and she would take us to a safer place where we don’t have to be scared.”
“I’m still nervous,” the letter continued. “I don’t want to talk to the other kids. Are you going to come this Christmas? We don’t have any of our stuff.”
The boy went on to ask Santa for a few normal gifts: a dictionary, a compass and a watch, but he also had another request:
“I also want a very, very, very good dad. Can you do that?”
The shelter that Blake and his unnamed mom are staying at serves families fleeing domestic violence. The group primarily provides services to more children than adults, NBC News reports.
Since being posted on Dec. 18, the photo has garnered more than 2,000 reactions and shares and 500 comments.
SafeHaven also asked for donations to the shelter, given that at least 117 women and children are currently receiving aid there.
The shelter has even prepared themselves an Amazon wish list in hopes of generous donors sending some gifts their way.
Micah Thompson, the director of marketing at the shelter, told People that the letter was shared with permission from Blake and his mom.
“Blake and his mom obviously had no idea how much attention this letter would receive,” Thompson told the publication.
“We’ve stayed in contact with his mom throughout the last 24 hours, and she made Blake aware.”
“I don’t think he fully understands because of his age, but he thinks it’s pretty cool.”
Though SafeHaven received more 10,000 gifts this year, they want to shine a light on the bigger issue of domestic violence.
“To us, it was kind of a story that we’ve heard all the time,” Kathryn Jacob, the organization’s president and CEO, told Today. “Like tonight, we have 73 kids in the shelter.”
“Blake is just one of many.”