WASHINGTON, Ind. (WTHI) -- The Colvins have been housing foreign exchange students for the past 7 years, but this year their student from Denmark was sent home almost 4 months early because of the COVID- 19 pandemic.
Richie and Shawn Colvin and their foreign exchange student Alex Veien are describing what happened to them and many other families across the country.
"Very abruptly, about a week and a half ago, we got an email stating that they were suspending the entire exchange student program and sending all the kids back to their home countries," Richie Colvin said.
Another impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"With everything going on in the world right now, in our household, we were trying to find some positive, uplifting and you know we were looking forward to the spring. Getting Alex ready for his first prom," Colvin said. "He was actually going to participate in his local high school graduation this year and with the COVID-19 taking a sweep across Indiana it just ruined all of that."
For Veien not only did he have to leave his exchange family. He also had to say goodbye to friends he had made and to all of the memories he could have made.
"It was just so surreal to you know. I met with some of my friends in the park when we kind of knew when we'd gotten the email and it was surreal that that was probably the last time I would see their faces for a long long time," Veien said.
"When we bring these children into our homes they're not just exchange students to us, they're our family," Colvin said. "And for us, it is like having one of your children taken away."
We did call a few exchange student programs today, they were not immediately able to tell me if they would continue the programs this coming July.
However, before Veien had to go back to Denmark, he started a fundraiser to get his school a new mascot costume. He is still trying to raise money for that, with help from the Colvins.
If you would like to help, you can find more information, here.