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A 7-year-old boy living in domestic violence shelter writes letter to Santa asking for 'very good dad'

A domestic violence shelter has shared a heartfelt letter written by a seven-year-old boy to Santa asking for gifts and a “very very very good dad”.

The handwritten letter was first found in the child’s backpack by his mother - who shared it with the SafeHaven of Tarrant County staff, in Fort Worth, Texas. 

After ensuring the child's identity was protected, the shelter then shared the note on Facebook, where it has since gone viral. 

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“Dear Santa, 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,” the letter reads.

“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?” 

The touching letter has since prompted hundreds of donations, including all of the presents on Blake’s list, according to the shelter, who wrote: “Blake is getting exactly what he asked for from Santa.” 

According to Micah Thompson, the organisation's director of marketing, the staff often finds notes similar to Blake’s. They chose to share this one, however, because it “was an emotional mix of a normal kid asking for his wishes from Santa but also explaining what it’s like to be a child who is away from home in a scary place for the holidays,” she told CBS News.

And while the organisation received “more than 10,000 donated gifts” this year, the shelter’s staff hopes that the letter will shine light on the bigger issue - the prevalence of domestic violence.  

"To us, it was kind of a story that we've heard all the time," Kathryn Jacob, the organisation’s president and CEO told Today. "Like tonight, we have 73 kids in the shelter. So Blake is just one of many."

According to Jacob, what stood out to the staff most has been the number of women commenting on the letter who have said they can relate or are also survivors of domestic violence. 

"One in three women in Texas will experience domestic violence in their lifetime," she said. "Even though we inherently know that, what has been remarkable to us is the number of women commenting on those stories saying they can relate."

On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In a year’s time, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

You can donate to the shelter here or find more information about donating here.