FORT MYERS, Fla. - A last-minute appeal to find 7 kids a temporary home. Some French students are packing their bags, getting ready to spend the next several weeks in Southwest Florida. Just one problem - only 5 families have volunteered to host them, leaving 7 students without homes.
World Exchange is a non-profit that allows students from around the world to experience what it's like to live with a family from another country. With just one week until the students arrive, they're hoping for a miracle.
These are pictures and letters from 12 French teens excited to live a few weeks of the "American Dream."
"It's a chance to have a friendship for a lifetime," Florida World Exchange Program Director Ana Rocha said.
But Rocha says, unless more families step up, 2 boys and 5 girls may miss out. "They know about the culture differences, they are very willing to share their culture, their language if you're interested in the French," Rocha said. "They can teach you some stuff, and all of them usually like to cook for the host family so you get to have some French food that's really good!"
There aren't many alligators in France. One past student came to Florida saying she hated reptiles. But judging by the picture her proudly holding a baby gator, a simple trip to the Everglades can be life-changing.
"I think that anyone can do it, any kind of family we can take," Rocha said. "There's no need to have kids in the house at all or you can be just like me, 2 little kids."
Daniel Desrosiers of Cape Coral slices pies at his pizza shop, looking forward to his first time hosting. "We already know the profiles, what they like to do, so we'll definitely show them the beach area, we'll show them the outlets stores because they're into fashion, she's into fashion," Desrosiers said.
16 year old Maxence wrote in his letter that coming to America will be a dream come true. "I'm not giving up," Rocha said. "I'm not leaving anyone behind. All of those 12 kids are going to come."
They're looking for hosts from all over Southwest Florida. To get involved, all you need to do is fill out a profile, provide two personal references for a background check, and pass a home visit. They are flexible. You can still participate even if you can't host for the full three weeks. For more information, head to http://www.worldexchange.org/index.cfm