Letters to Santa are normally a joyful affair, with requests ranging from the latest game consoles to a pony. However, one 7-year-old boy's letter to Santa has gone viral for his simple, yet heartbreaking request - a "very very very good dad."
A photo of the boy's letter to Santa was posted to Facebook by the domestic violence shelter SafeHaven of Tarrant County. In it, 'Blake' writes that he and his mother had recently left his abusive father and wanted to make sure Santa knew where to find him. He says that he doesn't have any of his belongings, and asks for a few things for Christmas. The 7-year-old had a few other requests for Santa, including: books, a dictionary, compass, and a watch.
To protect the boy and his mother's identity, the shelter says they slightly altered the letter by changing the boy's name and a few other details, Kathryn Jacob, the president and CEO of the shelter told USA Today.
"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?" the boy writes.
"I also want a very very Very good dad. Can you do that too?"
The letter was part of a class holiday project and was found by his mother in the 7-year-old's backpack a few weeks ago, the post by the shelter states.
After the letter went viral, the shelter says an outpouring of support and donations have come in - including the items on Blake's wishlist. The shelter wrote that it has room for around 164 people, with more than 70 children currently residing at the shelter.
"Abusers use isolation as a tool to be an abuser," Jacob said. "The great irony ... (is) it's actually not an isolating event at all. You are in fact part of this bigger community."
Jacon said in sharing the letter, they hope to spread awareness about the issue of domestic violence, which she called the nation's "dirty little secret."