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Grey Bears

Organization Mission

Grey Bears improves the health and well-being of seniors and our community through food and meal deliveries, volunteerism, resource conservation and recycling.

US Census data shows Santa Cruz County has the fastest-growing senior population in California. Coupled with the incessant rise in food costs and well-documented physical and mental health consequences of loneliness and isolation, our work of building social connection while nourishing our neighbors is more vital than ever.

The Big Idea 2024:
Santa Cruz County Seniors Night Out Series

Celebrating its 50th anniversary as seniors come out of Covid hibernation, Grey Bears proposes to rebuild community through events to spur long-term positive impact through social connection. Grey Bears is partnering with other community service organizations to execute 12 monthly events in 2024 that build on its successful 2023 speed dating events to create engaging social interaction opportunities for our County’s diverse and growing senior population. We hope to pilot event concepts to be implemented in perpetuity.

The series focuses on maintaining healthy bodies and minds, with topical conversations, presentations and activities related to current events, health, the arts, wellness activities, food, gardening, and books, and will feature a light meal, an 18-lb. bag of healthy produce, staples and other goodies for attendees to take home for household consumption, plus the ability to drop off gently-used household items for resale in Grey Bears’ award-winning thrift store.

Together with you, hundreds of amazing volunteers, generous donors and community partners, we are stronger and engaged at every age.

I appreciate your spirit of adventure in the name of love and connection. I hope and pray you do this again and will gladly be part of the 70+ crowd, just as long as you don't card me at the door!

Chris P., from Grey Bears 70+ Speed Dating event, 2023