Grey Bears is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports seniors, reuses and recycles resources, and provides volunteer opportunities to create a healthy, vibrant community. Here are some of the things we do:
Distribute – The Brown Bag Program delivers bags of fresh, nutritious groceries to 4,000 seniors every week throughout Santa Cruz County. Click here for information on how easy it is to become a Grey Bears member for just $20 per year.
Recycle – Grey Bears operates two recycling centers for the general public: on Chanticleer Avenue in Santa Cruz and at the Buena Vista Landfill in Watsonville. Our SCRAP subsidiary picks up cardboard and stretch plastic recycling from 200 area businesses.
Glean – Grey Bears began as a true harvester of crops with a mission to serve seniors with fresh produce. Volunteers still glean the fields and pick fruit during harvest to help supplement the weekly brown bags.
Reuse and Resell – Our Thrift Store and Computer Electronics Store feature an array of pre-owned treasures to fit every budget. Come and shop for clothing, housewares, furniture, art, music, books, bikes and sporting goods, medical equipment, tested and refurbished computers, hi-fi stereo gear, appliances and much more – all at super low prices.
Community – We love a reason to celebrate! Bringing our community together to share with each other is a big part of Grey Bears. Our annual events include the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner in May, Country Pancake Breakfast in July, Harvest Picnic in September and Holiday Dinner in early December. We also offer members free, by donation and low-cost classes – from personal computing, chair yoga and exercise to taiko drumming and cooking classes.
Compost – Our Earth Tubs turn unused food scraps into high-quality compost for your garden, and we sell it dirt cheap.
Sustainability – Grey Bears has been the recipient of awards for our recycling and sustainability operations. We’ve been green so long we’ve turned grey!
Join - Membership in Grey Bears is an investment that supports our entire community many times over. Anyone is invited to join for just $20 per year. Members age 55+ (or your designated recipient) are entitled to receive a brown bag of produce and groceries 48 weeks a year, along with other benefits.
Volunteer - Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Grey Bears. We were recognized by the Volunteer Center with the prestigious “Be the Difference” group award in 2011. You’ll enjoy fun activities and an unmatched sense of fulfillment from serving our local community. We have many opportunities for your particular specialty and area of interest. If you’re interested in volunteering please click here.
Donate - We gratefully accept donations of food, money, recycling, volunteer time, clean clothing, household items and vehicles. Grey Bears is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and all gifts are tax deductible.