March 25


Millennium Development’s Free Programs for Older Adults Prove Invaluable

March 25, 2024

Vol. 104 No. 13

For the last 30 years, Millennium Development, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Bergen Beach, has been providing the community with a number of invaluable resources. Perhaps best known for their robust after-school and summer camp programs, the organization gives kids the opportunity to participate in sports, compete in debate championships, put on musicals, and try their hands at archery, knitting and chess, but what they offer older adults in the community is just as important.

Millennium’s mission is to “enhance the community by cultivating and challenging the minds of today’s youth, empowering families, encouraging, supporting the well-being of active adults, and advancing their participation in all aspects of community life.”  This is evident at their 12 after-school programs for youth and nine older adult centers.

At a time when seniors report feeling more lonely and isolated than ever before, Millennium Development offers free membership to programs at locations throughout Brooklyn, open to everyone age 60 and older, which include a nutritious free lunch, arts and crafts, Zumba, pickleball, yoga, chair aerobics, ping pong, billiards, holiday celebrations, field trips and, most important of all, companionship. The program, which runs Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., can be especially fulfilling for recent retirees who, after decades of adhering to a strict schedule as part of the workforce, often struggle to find a new purpose with more, unstructured free time.

“I really miss the center,” shared Maria Garcia, who can no longer attend since she moved to an assisted living facility just before the start of the pandemic. A seamstress for 40 years, she retired because her hands were too shaky to do the work anymore. “I’m a widow. I have no children; my brothers and sisters lived in different states, so it was lonely being at home. It was depressing sitting in front of the television watching soap operas and game shows all day long,” Garcia said.  “My hairdresser told me about Millennium Development  – that her mom went there and I started going too. It gave me a reason to go out and to drive. It was nice to be around other people and try new things for a change,” she said of her experience at the center.

The program for seniors has continued to expand significantly since Garcia attended and is absolutely flourishing in the hands of Millennium Development’s Executive Director Paul Curiale, whom members of the community agree is truly dedicated to his work.

“I like to call him the ‘everywhere man’ because he’s everywhere – every meeting, outing, protest,” said Bergen Beach Civic Association President Sal Calise. “He is always thinking of kids and seniors and how he can improve activities for them. He really puts his heart and soul into it. He is a unique, grounded gentleman in a world of chaos, but no one can do it better than him. He makes our community a better place,” he said.

That’s a shining testament to the man at the helm – and the programs that are changing the lives of so many for the better.

To learn more about Millennium Development, visit or call (718) 444-0101.

Facebook photos courtesy of Millennium Development

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