Our Mission

IMG_0919Grey Bears improves the health and well being of seniors through food distribution, volunteerism and community participation.

Our Vision
All seniors live healthy, meaningful lives.

Our Core Values

  • Respect individuals
  • Promote trust, integrity and compassion
  • Support volunteerism and community service
  • Emphasize quality services and products
  • Advance sustainability via recycling, reusing and repurposing
  • Acknowledge and respond to the challenges of aging

Our Programs

Distribute – The Brown Bag Program delivers bags of fresh produce and healthy staples to 4,200 seniors each week throughout Santa Cruz County. Click here for information on how you can become a Grey Bears supporting member for just $30 per year.

kids_with_roland_croppedRecycle & Repurpose – Grey Bears operates two recycling centers for the general public: on Chanticleer Avenue in Santa Cruz (including e-waste and appliances using e-steward certified processors and no drop fees) and at the Buena Vista Landfill in Watsonville. Our glass tumblers transform recycled glass into “sea glass” for art and decorative applications.

Glean – The Grey Bears Glean Team picks fruit and vegetables during harvest for the Brown Bag Program, and conducts daily distributions of “day old” groceries from 25 markets and bakeries. Contact Michelle to join the glean team or to arrange a gleaning crew at your orchard or farm.

Reuse and Resell – Our Thrift Store, Computer Electronics Store and Bookstore offer terrific values on everything for your home, kitchen, office, garden and sport. Browse through thousands of books in all genres both in-store and online at Amazon.com. Check out our huge selection of vinyl, CDs, DVDs and books on tape/CD.

Eat-Move-Learn – Grey Bears connects seniors and our community with three annual luncheon events, weekly classes including chair yoga, computing and tech support, Spanish, Taiko drumming, cooking and regular Repair Cafés.

CompostOur six Earth Tubs turn food scraps from the brown bag program and daily lunches into high-quality compost to nourish your garden, and we sell it dirt cheap in the thrift store.

Sustainability – Grey Bears has been the recipient of many awards for our recycling and sustainability operations, including 2015 Aptos Chamber Organization of the Year.

Join Membership in Grey Bears is an investment that supports our entire community many times over. Anyone is invited to participate for just $30 per year. Those age 55+ (or your designated recipient) are entitled to receive a brown bag of produce and groceries 48 weeks a year.

Volunteer Volunteering at Grey Bears is fun, rewarding and a great way to meet interesting people while serving our community. We have been recognized by the Volunteer Center with a “Be the Difference” award for volunteerism, and as one of President Bush’s “1,000 points of light” that stated: “The old ideas are new again because they are not old, they are timeless: duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in.”

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.