A boy who penned a letter to Santa Claus while living in a family shelter is drawing support from strangers across the country.
Blake's note to St. Nick was shared on Facebook Wednesday by SafeHaven of Tarrant County, Texas, and garnered hundreds of comments and shares.
The 7-year-old and his mom are residents at one of two shelters run by SafeHaven, a non-profit that helps domestic violence survivors in Fort Worth, Texas.
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. 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 here. Can you bring some chapter books, a dictionary, and a compass and a watch? I also want a very, very, very good dad. Can you do that, too?
Facebook users offered support in the comments section, asking how they can help Blake and his mom or send him Christmas gifts.
- 2September 19, 2019
The shelter provides bed space and meals to 164 moms and kids on any given night and will never turn anyone away, said SafeHaven's president and CEO, Kathryn Jacob.
"Children are more introspective than we realize," Jacob told "Good Morning America," adding that Blake and his mom's identities are being kept confidential for safety reasons. "The most important thing around the holidays are to make sure children in the shelter have as normal of an experience as possible."
She said Blake's mom found the letter in his backpack and showed staff at SafeHaven, who find letters like his "an everyday occurrence for us."
The shelter posted the letter online to raise awareness on domestic violence.
"[We've had] people respond and say they've either experienced this as an adult, or as a child who's seen violence," Jacob said. "I think it's worth talking about because long after the celebrations of Christmas are over there are still children at SafeHaven and victims of domestic violence across the United States."
Jacob said Blake has received compasses, one of his requests from Santa, in the mail since the letter was posted.
"I encourage people to get involved with their local [shelters]," Jacob said.
For anonymous, confidential 24/7 help on domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
Jacob said the hotline will direct you to a local number that will connect you to people who can help in your area.