We are proud to announce that we are working on our legacy project establishing

A Village for Brothers and Sisters in California.

The Together California: A Village for Brothers and Sisters FUNDRAISER

Here are some important points why it is important
that the Council supports Together California:
A Village for Brothers and Sisters by enabling the construction
of a Community Center on the Palmdale Campus.

Your generous giving will allow us to become a significant
co-founder of the Together California Palmdale Campus.
We are creating the Community Center
and dedicating it to the longstanding friendship between Austria
and the United States including the generosity of all of you.
You will be recognized in your order of giving at the Center.
This Community Center will not only serve the children
living at the village, but will provide services to children outside
of the Palmdale Campus. A successful fund drive will allow
potential representation on the Together California Palmdale Board of Directors
by someone appointed by AACW to have access
to village management for now and into the future.

The Austrian-American Council West has a long history of helping children and families
in need. We are proud to be part of this landmark model of foster care,
which originated in Austria after World War II. Our Council and its members
are committed to and focus all our resources on developing the Community Center,
which will be our legacy of support, love, and care for so many children in need.”


Legacy Project: TOGETHER CALIFORNIA: A Village for Brothers & Sisters.
Modeled after SOS Children’s Villages, originating in Austria

October 2022 - Present

October 26, 2022

During the reception of Austria’s National Day celebration at the residence of the Consul General of Austria, President Veronika Reinelt had a wonderful opportunity to speak about and introduce our Legacy Project.  Although the Council was actively soliciting funds
for the Village in Palmdale, California, this was the moment when the public
at large was made aware of our in-depth involvement with this project,
and the Consul General expressed his support for this endeavor. 

Year 2023

Throughout this period the Council was able to amass sufficient funds to be able to specifically support the creation of a Community Center at the Village.  In the meantime, TOGETHER CALIFORNIA raised funds from both private and public sources in the area of $20,000,000 to make the village a reality.  Various permits and permissions were obtained. Plans were drawn and contractors were brought on board.

Year 2024

The Council was notified that we were allowed to proceed with the creation
of the Community Center.  Importantly, it will be known as the
All the generosity of our donors has provided a permanent recognition
of the long-standing relationship between Austria and the United States -
all to the benefit of extremely disadvantaged children.

February 7, 2024

This is the day we have all been waiting for.  On Wednesday at 11:00 AM the Groundbreaking for 12 foster homes and the building of our Community Center took place.  The Center will serve as a vibrant hub for the whole community of Palmdale/Lancaster.  The location is 30thStreet near McAdam Park in Palmdale. 

Helga and Rudi Frenner, AACW Sponsors; Cornelia Malloy, Deputy Consul General of Austria; and Veronika Reinelt, President of AACW

 The highlight of the event was the ceremonial groundbreaking.  Veronika Reinelt, Helga and Rudi Frenner representing the Council together with the Deputy Council of Austria, Cornelia Malloy turned the earth with their spades emblazoned with “TOGETHER CALIFORNIA” – the Spatenstich – calling to mind Hermann Gmeiner and the Austrian legacy.


Here is how to participate in the Austrian-American Council West Fund Drive towards establishing a Community Center at Together California:
A Village for Brothers and Sisters in Palmdale, CA.

Kindly send a check payable to:
Austrian-American Council West
Memo: “Community Center/Together California”

 To the following address:

Austrian-American Council West
2701 Forrester Drive
Los Angeles, CA  90064-3402

 or donate online here :

All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. 
Tax ID #95-41 68 292   IRS Code §501(c)(3)

All donors will be gratefully acknowledged.

Nearly 100 times a day, a child in California is placed into foster care
because their home wasn’t safe enough for them to stay in. However,
the system they enter for temporary protection often leads to permanent trauma.

Due to no fault of their own, children who have already survived challenging circumstances, sometimes including abuse and neglect, are forced into an unstable,
under-resourced and struggling foster care system.

California is the wealthiest state in the nation.

But it’s also the epicenter of the foster care crisis.

Los Angeles has the highest population of children in the foster care system
in the United States, with over 30,000 kids in care at any time.
Nearly 1,600 are awaiting adoption. Over half of them are under the age of 9.

Together California: A village for Borthers and Sisters
will change the foster care experience for kids
around the world with its innovative, child-centered programming.

Now, it’s time to bring it to Los Angeles.

''Together California, A Village for Brothers & Sisters'' brings an international, proven solution to a longstanding local problem.

SOS is the largest non-governmental, non-denominational child welfare organization in the world with over 550 villages in 130 countries. They have received numerous international prizes, including multiple Nobel nominations and the Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

The SOS community-based model is based on five core values:

01. Siblings stay together and don’t have to fear being split apart.

02. SOS is a permanent home for foster kids if they want it,
not one more place they’ll have to leave.

03. Foster parents are paid, trained professionals who focus on stability.
Parenting is their fulltime job.

04. With 24/7 therapeutic services and an excellent security track record,
everyone can find a safe space.

05. When possible, birth parents are treated as family, too. Counseling, training,
and onsite guest houses let kids and family connect.

Together, we can create a blueprint for a new kind of foster care in California.

In its initial year, 72 children will find a home at the SOS Village. Future villages are being discussed in South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

Our pilot village will be based in Palmdale.

In a region surrounded by their favorite film, television, music, and sports heroes, you have an opportunity to be a real-life hero for Angeleno/a kids in foster care.

As a founding member of Together California: A Village for Brothers and Sisters, you are helping change children’s lives and begin a movement to transform foster care across California.