A domestic violence shelter in Texas has shared a child's heartbreaking letter to Santa.
In the letter, seven-year-old Blake asked Santa for a "very, very, very good dad" after being forced to flee his home with his mother.
"Dad was mad," Blake wrote.
"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 correspondence, shared online on Thursday by SafeHaven of Tarrant County, was found a few weeks ago in the boy's backpack, the shelter said.
"I'm still nervous. I don't want to talk to the other kids," Blake confided in Santa.
"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?" he asked.
Although Christmas is yet to arrive, SafeHaven said "Blake is getting exactly what he asked for from Santa" thanks to a number of kind donations from the public.
"But with 117 women and children needing shelter this holiday season, we need your help to make sure they have a safe place to stay throughout December," the shelter added.
SafeHaven also confirmed that Blake and his mother were safe, and thanked the public for their concern.
"Victim safety has been our priority for over 40 years, and we would never compromise that through a social media post or otherwise."
The post received an outpouring of responses online, with many people asking how they could provide help and support for the shelter's victims.
"How many children do you currently house? Now I want to help all the children...my heart just breaks," wrote one person.
"Is there a way to send packages through the mail or Amazon to you guys to give to him? I want to gather up some books, stuffies and a card for this sweet boy," wrote another.
The post has so far been shared more than 700 times and has almost 200 comments.
According to its website, SafeHaven is the largest and most comprehensive agency in Tarrant County, providing services at no cost to domestic violence victims.
Where to find help and support:
- Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)