Our Blog

The latest news and exciting developments

See also our blog for Foster Care and Adoption.

Sweet Success

September 9, 2011

It's been a long time coming, but with a lot of support and dedication Rebekah's Culinary Academy now has a retail booth at the Gilroy Farmer's Market.  After 3 sold-out Sundays in a row, the kitchen is gearing up this morning to make Sunday #4 just as successful.  With cookies, scones, foccacia bread, and a turnover or two the Academy is making it's presence known in Gilroy, and teaching valuable skills to it's students.  After months of planning and worries about if they bake will anyone buy Chef Carlos and Rachel Lambert, Culinary Academy Manger have something to be very proud of. 

The Culinary Academy booth is at the Gilroy Downtown Farmer's Market held Sundays from 10am - 2pm on 7th and Monterey Streets. Stop by the booth, visit with Chef Carlos and his apprentices, and pick up a sweet treat for later.  I suggest getting there early for the best selection, this is one time when good things don't come to those who wait. 

The Academy is also available for catering orders, contact Rachel for more information at (408)846-2403.

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Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery

September 2, 2011

September is National Recovery Month. This year the theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Recovery Benefits Everyone” please join Rebekah Children’s Services and SAMHSA in promoting awareness in your community or search for a local event to attend.   Millions of Americans of all ages experience substance use and mental health disorders; prevention and treatment programs have been proven to work successfully.  We need your help through public awareness to spread the word about available programs and the need for more. 

The following chart from SAMHSA shows the most commonly misused substances in the United States and their adverse side effects.



Other Names5,6

Immediate Intoxication Effects7

Negative Health Effects8

Average Age of First Use in 2009 (vs. in 2008) and Current Rate Among Youth9,10,11

Number of People Who Used it in the Past Month in 2009 vs. in 200812,13

Alcohol, Inhalants, and Tobacco



Depressant: Impaired coordination, memory and judgment; slurred speech; decreased attention and memory

Seizures, chronic sleep problems, respiratory depression, respiratory arrest, damage to vital organs, high blood pressure, negative pregnancy outcomes (including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)

16.9 years in 2009 (17 years in 2008); (rate of current alcohol use is 3.5% among youth aged 12 or 13, and 13% among youth aged 14 or 15)

130.6 million people in 2009 (similar to 129 million people in 2008)

Tobacco products

Chew, dip, smoke, cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, snuff, spit tobacco

Stimulant: Increased adrenaline, metabolism, and concentration

Increased blood pressure and heart rate, lung disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer

17.5 years in 2009 (17.4 years in 2008); (rate of current tobacco use is 11.6% among youth aged 12 to 17)

69.7 million people in 2009 (similar to 70.9 million people in 2008)

Gases, nitrites, aerosols (inhalants)

Ether, chloroform, nitrous oxide, isobutyl, isoamyl (poppers, snappers, whippets, laughing gas)

Stimulant: Loss of inhibition, loss of motor coordination, slurred speech, and muscle weakness

Rapid or irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular and nervous system damage

16.9 years in 2009 (15.9 years in 2008)*

0.6 million people in 2009 (similar to 0.64 million people in 2008)

Illicit Drugs

Cocaine (including crack cocaine)

Coke, snow, flake, blow, bump, toot, C, white lady, crack, rock

Stimulant: Increased alertness, attention, and energy

Rapid or irregular heartbeat, stroke, muscle spasm, chest pain, nausea

20 years in 2009 (19.8 years in 2008); (rate of current cocaine use is 0.3% among youth aged 12 to 17)

1.6 million people in 2009 (similar to 1.9 million people in 2008)


Adam, E, X, eve, XTC, decadence, M&M

Stimulant: Increased energy, feelings of peacefulness and acceptance

Involuntary teeth clenching, loss of inhibition, increased heart rate, anxiety, blurred vision

20.2 years in 2009 (20.3 years in 2008)*

760,000 people in 2009 (increased from 550,000 people in 2008)


Big H, dope, smack, white horse

Feeling of euphoria, flushing of skin, dry mouth, and heaviness of the extremities

Collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, liver disease, kidney disease, pulmonary complications

25.5 years in 2009 (23.4 years in 2008)*

0.2 million people in 2009 (same as in 2008)


LSD, peyote, acid, mellow yellow, boomers, shrooms

Delusions, changes in senses, mood, and body temperature

Elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, persistent mental health problems

18.4 years in 2009 (18.4 years in 2008); (rate of current hallucinogen use is 0.9% among youth aged 12)

1.3 million people in 2009 (similar to 1.1 million people in 2008)


Pot, weed, hash, grass, reefer, Mary Jane, ganja

Distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, and loss of memory

Increased heart rate, respiratory infection, impaired memory, anxiety

17 years in 2009 (17.8 years in 2008); (rate of current marijuana use is 7.3% among youth aged 12 to 17)

16.7 million people in 2009 (increased from 15.2 million people in 2008)


Speed, meth, chalk, ice, crank

Stimulant: Agitation, anxiety, insomnia, and decreased appetite

Rapid or irregular heartbeat, stroke, high blood pressure, delusions, anxiety, hallucination

19.3 years in 2009 (19.2 years in 2008)*

502,000 people in 2009 (increased from 314,000 people in 2008)

Prescription Drugs

Pain relievers (Opioids: Hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, fentanyl)

Vike (Vicodin®), Oxy, O.C. (Oxycontin®), M (roxanol), Schoolboy (empirin with codeine), China white, dance fever (Actiq®)

Pain relief, feeling of euphoria, and drowziness

Restlessness, muscle and bone pain, drowsiness, seizure, respiratory depression, decreased heart rate

20.8 years in 2009 (21.2 years in 2008); (rate of current nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers is 2.7% among youth aged 12 to 17)

5.3 million people in 2009 (increased from 4.7 million people in 2008)


Prozac®, Zoloft®, Ritalin®

Increased attention and alertness, and dizziness

Blurred vision, rapid heartbeat, skin rashes, persistent muscle spasms, tremors

21 years in 2009 (22 years in 2008)*

7 million people in 2009 (increased from 6.2 million people in 2008)


Haldol®, Thorazine®, Navane®, Prolixin®, Mellaril®, Trilafon®

Depressant: Reduced anxiety, induced sleep, and lowered inhibitions

Seizures, chronic sleep problems, respiratory depression, respiratory arrest

19.7 years in 2009 (15.9 years in 2008)*

370,000 people in 2009 (increased from 234,000 people in 2008)


Benzos (Mebaral®, Ativan®, Xanax®, Valium®, Nembutal®, Librium®)

Depressant: Reduced anxiety, induced sleep, and lowered inhibitions

Seizures, chronic sleep problems, respiratory depression, respiratory arrest

22.4 years in 2009 (24.4 years in 2008)*

2 million people in 2009 (similar to 1.8 million people in 2008)

Stimulants (methylphenidate, amphetamines)14

Adderall®, Ritalin®, Concerta®

Increased calming, "focusing" effect

Increased blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature; decreased sleep and appetite; stroke

21.5 years in 2009 (21.3 years in 2008)*

1.3 million people in 2009 (increased from 904,000 people in 2008)

*Data for current rate among youth not available

Using data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, and the 2008 and 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the chart provides an overview of the most commonly misused substances in the United States, including how prescription medications are abused. The chart can be used to raise awareness about the prevalence of these substances and the need for substance use and mental disorder treatment and recovery support services. (taken from http://www.recoverymonth.gov/Recovery-Month-Kit/Targeted-Outreach/Commonly-Misused-Substances.aspx)

Rebekah Children's Services is ZURB's Pick

August 19, 2011

We are excited to announce that Rebekah Children's Services was selected as the recipient of the 2011 ZURBwired Project.  Which means on August 18th we will partner with ZURB; an interactive design and marketing firm based in Campbell; for a 24-hour marathon website rebuild and marketing redesign.  Expect us to roll out a whole new look and interactive user experience to www.rcskids.org in the next week! The anticipation around the agency is mounting, we know that the work we do is phenomenal and want that to be reflected when people visit our site.  Stay tuned, the entire project will be filmed and we will be updating our progress.

For more information on the project or to view the announcement visit www.zurb.com/wired

One Day Into Our New Site

August 20, 2011

This is our inaugural blog post for our new site, www.rcskids.org. Jeremy Britton from ZURB had promised me sometime around 3 am on the day of the ZURBwired build to write this post for me, but I couldn't wait to share some news.  I'll take a raincheck on his promise for now.

ZURB marketing lead Dmitry Dragilev hasn’t quit working for us yet.  Check out our project story on CNET and the NY Times.   For the full project details, photos, and videos of the craziness from that night visit the ZURBwired blog.  

Without further ado...welcome to the brand new rcskids.org!  We’ve put a lot of sweat, tears (literally, Christie tried to take out my toe during the photo shoot pillow fight with her high heel) and hard work into this rebuild.  Starting Thursday morning at 8 am and working straight through to Friday at 8 am, it was a FULL 24 hours for the Rebekah’s team of Ryan Miguel, Scott Olson, Christie Balancier, Serena LoConte and myself. We also had visits by our executive director Mary Kaye Gerski, Jennifer Grier, and Sue Nelson to contribute their 2 cents.

The project with ZURB to revamp our website, logo, brochures and more within a mere 24 hours was completely insane and yet totally obtainable.  We began Thursday morning with limitless energy and dedication to this vast project; by noon we were questioning our decision to tackle so much; by 6 pm we knew that our print deadline had arrived and we were not quite ready yet. However at 8 pm, everything was rolling and we were completed with our first 12 hours and heading into the final 12 with renewed energy and the satisfaction of checking several items off the overly ambitious do list.

2:30 am arrived and we rallied around the newly arrived brochures and postcard, hot off the press.  Who would have thought that in a mere 6 hours we could have sent 3 items to print and got them back?  This ZURBwired thing really does work and get results.

By 3:30 the laundry list of items that we had hoped to accomplish (which Jeremy thought was completely insane at the start) was in various stages of completion and I found myself delegating new tasks to keep everyone busy through the homestretch.  

At 7:55 am the new site was officially launched with 5 minutes to spare, a ZURBwired record.  We have a few tweaks to do over the next week to perfect eveything, but we couldn’t be happeir with the results.

Tell us what you think of the redesign, we’d love to hear from you.

ZURBwired Release

August 11, 2011
PR Newswire: news distribution, targeting and monitoring  
Silicon Valley Design Firm to Hold 24 Hour Design Marathon to Benefit Bay Area Foster Kids
CAMPBELL, Calif., Aug. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- How does a 114 year-old nonprofit learn in just 24 hours to help the kids and families they serve in a whole new way? On August 18th Rebekah Children's Services (http://www.rcskids.org/) becomes the fourth nonprofit to take the ZURBwired (http://www.zurbwired.com/) challenge. Organizations everywhere get stuck and lose site of the value they can create for people. ZURB, a close-knit Campbell design firm, will offer Rebekah Children's Services a chance to break through organizational paralysis for just one day and teach them how to get stuff done for a lifetime. ZURB's design techniques will provide Rebekah's Children's Services tools to visualize a strategy and goal-oriented teamwork to accomplish the unthinkable, fast. It just happens that ZURB and Rebekah's will create and launch a new website together from scratch that day--from every word, line of code, or pixel on the screen.

Quotes from the team

"Our website is the biggest source of information about our programs and the primary means by which we acquire new donors, supporters and potential adoptive/foster parents, unfortunately it is woefully inadequate and we don't have the resources to fix it," said Community Relations Manager of Rebekah's Children Services. "We are very fortunate and excited to be chosen by ZURB, not only because we're going to get a great new website, but because we're going to be part of the process of building it and learning skills we'll need to maintain it moving forward."

"ZURB is stoked to work with Rebekah's Children Services this year," said ZURB partner Jeremy Britton. "Their team has an amazing energy! We want their organization to reach more foster kids who can benefit from their services and more supporters to expand on and improve their quality. We want to launch a new website and brochure in 24 hours, but also to teach the design methods and goal-oriented teamwork that will carry them throughout the rest of the year!"

About ZURB

ZURB the 13 year old Bay Area interaction design firm, which has worked with the likes of Netflix, Facebook, Yahoo, eBay, Logitech, Reuters, McAfee, NYSE and 150+ others.



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