Toys for Tots gives Christmas gifts to community, teaches kids anti-bullying messages

Project my Neighborhood hosted a Toys for Tots drive Saturday, collecting Christmas toys to give to children in the community. The event was hosted at the Zeva Sports Center in Middleton.

Anyone, including parents, who donated a toy was invited to play Battle Blaster, a game played with Nerf guns.

PMN works to teach anti-bullying messages while also incorporating physical activities into its programs.

“Building leadership within kids, it’s something I’ve been doing as a coach, on my athletic teams as a leader, that ultimately, it’s a great investment in our youth,” said PMN co-founder Matt Nelson.

In addition to teaching anti-bullying messages, PMN teaches leadership and inclusivity. Before the games began, Nelson gave a pep talk to the children and parents. He said PMN makes sure that everyone is included all the time.

“The beauty of this is that really anybody of any mental or physical disability is able to play in our games,” Nelson said. “We’ve had as young as 2 (years old) to over 80 (years old) play, and we’ve had over four generations of people play in a single event.”

Moving forward, PMN will continue to host similar events with physical activities at each.

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