Civic Group
Grey Bears

We improve the health and well-being of seniors and our community.

Years of service: 47

Leadership: Tim Brattan, Executive Director

Their story: Grey Bears puts the phrase “waste not, want not” into action by diverting food, clothing, electronics and other items from the waste stream and putting them to effective use to improve the lives of seniors. “The broad term of resource conservation or reuse applies to every facet of our mission,” says Brattan. Food donations from local grower sand markets form the basis for tens of thousands of meals and roughly 3 million pounds of food each year — delivered to the elderly door-to-door and at dozens of pick-up sites. The nonprofit has its roots in a harvest picnic, which revealed an unmet need in food availability for the elderly. “From that meager beginning they grew very rapidly with local growers, farmers and distributors to put together basically a CSA in the community,” says Brattan. An annual harvest picnic carries on the founding tradition.

Fundraising focus: General donations are targeted to the following initiatives...

  • Support the 47th Annual Holiday Dinner: This year's Grey Bears Holiday Dinner To Go takes place on Sunday, Dec. 6, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Santa Cruz Main Campus, 2710 Chanticleer Ave; and 11 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Watsonville Senior Center, 114 E 5th Street, Watsonville. Reserve your pick-up time at or call Sharon at 831-479-1055 ext 223.
  • Healthy Food for Seniors program, delivering weekly grocery bags of fresh produce, healthy staples, proteins and big dose of love to 4,200 seniors all year long.
  • 20 fun ways to volunteer in food assembly and delivery, thrift store pricing/cashiering, electronics testing/refurbishing, composting, recycling and more, plus support 4 weekly Zoom Chair Yoga classes.

We promote good nutrition, activity and social connection as the perfect recipe for healthy aging.