Every Christmas, millions of children write letters to Santa Claus. Many of them ask for toys, but this 7-year-old boy’s note in 2019 was a bit different.
Blake was living with his mother in a Texas domestic violence shelter when he wrote the letter. For the holidays, he wished that St. Nick would bring him something that he longed to have: a “very, very good dad.”
“Dear Santa, We had to leave our house. Dad was mad. We had to do all the chores. Dad got everything he wanted,” the lad said in a handwritten letter shared by SafeHaven of Tarrant County on Facebook.
“Mom said it was time to leave and she would take us to a safer place where we don’t have to be scared.”
Blake and his mom arrived at the shelter before Thanksgiving. According to the Facebook post by the non-profit agency helping the mother and son, the boy’s mom found the heartbreaking note a few weeks prior in his backpack.
“I’m still nervouse [sic]. I don’t want to talk to the other kids,” Blake continued in the letter. “Are you going to come this christmas [sic]? 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?”
Micah Thompson, the organization’s director of marketing, said that staff often find letters similar to Blake’s from other children, but they chose to share this one in particular.
Thompson said the letter “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.”
The note went viral and touched hearts across the country.
After posting the letter on their Facebook page, SafeHaven provided an update to ensure the public that Blake and his mom are safe.
“We would never compromise that through a social media post or otherwise,” the organization wrote on Facebook. “Blake and his mom are safe! Thank you for your concern for his family.”
What struck the staff the most has been the response of the public to the post. Many women who are survivors of domestic violence shared their own stories in the comments.
“One in three women in Texas will experience domestic violence in their lifetime,” said Kathryn Jacob, president and CEO of SafeHaven. “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.”
The families in the shelter may not be in their own homes, but SafeHaven ensures that they still get to feel the holiday cheer by organizing fun events and programs.
One program, called “Santa’s Sack,” asks residents of the county to donate gifts for the kids. The organization then creates a “toy shop” where the moms can shop for presents at no cost to them.
That year, SafeHaven received over 10,000 gifts from donors, allowing them to give Blake everything he asked for and more for Christmas!
Thanks to the outpouring of donations, the shelter was also able to set up a store in the shelter where the children could shop for their moms.
In December 2020, SafeHaven posted an update about Blake and his mom.
“Blake is 8 now, and he and his mom are doing great – even through the pandemic,” the shelter wrote. Hopefully, things continue to get better for them!
If you want to help residents of SafeHaven of Tarrant County, you can make a donation via their website.
You can also reach their hotline at 1-877-701-7233 if you are a victim of domestic violence. It’s free and available 24/7 all year round, and each call will be answered by a professionally trained bilingual staff.
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