Our Mission

IMG_0919Grey Bears improves the health and well being of seniors through 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 4,300 seniors each week throughout Santa Cruz County.. Click here for information on how you can become a Grey Bears 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 turn 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 Tess Wood to join the glean team, or to arrange a gleaning crew at your orchard or farm.

Reuse and Resell – Our Thrift Store and Computer Electronics Store offers terrific values on everything for your home, office and garden. Shop often for new daily arrivals. Browse through the bookstore and thousands of titles in all genres, plus 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 for your garden, and we sell it dirt cheap.

Sustainability – Grey Bears has been the recipient of many awards for our recycling and sustainability operations.

Join Membership in Grey Bears is an investment that supports our entire community many times over. Anyone is invited to join for just $30 per year. Members 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 and a great way to meet interesting people while serving our community. We have been recognized by the Volunteer Center with “Be the Difference” awards, 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.