Our Blog

The latest news and exciting developments

See also our blog for Foster Care and Adoption.

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.

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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

Culinary at Summer Camp

August 5, 2011

Rebekah’s Culinary Academy Culinary Apprentices Martin Munoz and Sean Leach along with their Supervisor/Instructor Chef Carlos Pineda, participated as Culinary Arts Instructors at Foothills Congregational Church Summer Arts Day Camp August 1-5. This year’s theme was Rivers of Art.

In creating the menu and lesson plans for the week of arts camp, the Culinary Apprentices were asked to pull from cookbooks and websites designed and created by children. They came up with a nutritious and taste filled menu for the 5 days of lunches. Each day, two classes of approximately 8-10 children entered the very small kitchen at the church to learn that day’s lesson which ended in a yummy lunch they were all be able to sit down and enjoy before leaving for the day.

Culinary Apprentices Martin and Sean have been students in the Rebekah’s Culinary Academy at Rebekah Children’s Services, Gilroy and have recently graduated to Step 2 of the program where they leave the classroom setting and begin working as employees of the Culinary Academy producing pastry products that will be sold to the public.

Rebekah’s Culinary Academy is a program that focuses on assisting Transition Aged Youth (age 15-25 years old) to learn vocational skills in order to be self-sufficient. For more information please contact Chef Rachel Lambert, program manager at 408-846-2403.

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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Girl Scouts Bring the Rainbow

June 30, 2011

Emily Kobayashi and Kelly Mayeda from Girl Scout Troop 61335 were on a mission to recycle and earn their Silver Award, but it’s what they recycled that is unique; crayons.  Two hundred pounds of Crayola Crayons in the original 24 colors which they collected from April 2010 until January 2011. Then the task was to sort the crayons by color, peel the wrappers and melt them into molded shapes so they could be used by children all over again.  The requirements to earn a Silver Award are that each girl contributes 50 hours to the project, 10 of which must be in a leadership role, after months of work both girls had far surpassed that requirement.

On June 29, 2011 Emily and Kelly presented Kim Prohaska of Rebekah Children’s Services with their completed project, over 100 sets of new recycled crayons to be distributed to children in need.  Each set is packaged in its own bag with a card stating that they are recycled and hand molded by Emily and Kelly.  Rebekah Children’s Services will use the crayons for art therapy and distribute to children receiving their services.