Our Mission

Grey Bears improves the health and wellbeing 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, nutritious groceries to 4,500 seniors every week throughout Santa Cruz County. Click here for information on how you can become a Grey Bears member for just $30 per year.

Recycle – Grey Bears operates two recycling centers for the general public: on Chanticleer Avenue in Santa Cruz (including all e-waste) and at the Buena Vista Landfill in Watsonville. Our SCRAP subsidiary picks up cardboard and stretch plastic recycling from 170 area businesses.

Glean – Grey Bears volunteers glean the fields and pick fruit during harvest for the Brown Bag Program. Contact email hidden; JavaScript is required 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 feature an array of pre-owned treasures at super low prices. Shop often for thousands of new daily arrivals.

Eat-Repair-Learn – Bringing the community together is a big part of Grey Bears. We produce four major events a year and also offer free, by donation and low-cost classes – from personal computing, iPad and Spanish, to chair yoga, taiko drumming, cooking and regular Repair Cafes. Check out our calendar.

CompostOur six Earth Tubs turn unused food scraps into high-quality compost for 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.

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.