Each week of the season, DenverBroncos.com will highlight the off-field contributions of a Denver Bronco. This week we talked to DE DeMarcus Ware who visited the Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club with teammates on Monday. After the visit, Ware hosted an advance screening of the movie "Annie" for his teammates and a group of kids from the club.*
Why is giving back to the community important to you?
"I think life is about giving and it's about giving people second chances. I went to the Boys & Girls Club when I lived in Auburn, Ala. and some of the players at Auburn University—like Bo Jackson—came and talked to us. So that gave me a little of motivation that just because of where you are and your circumstances—that doesn't really matter. It's what you do with what you have. So that's why I always give back, because now I'm in that position to give."
Why have you chosen to devote your time to working with the Boys & Girls Clubs?
"It's close to my heart because that's where I used to go after school. When you're parents aren't home and you go play bumper pool or go play kickball and build some friendship and camaraderie and keep yourself out of trouble from gangs or whatever it is in that community. You actually can do some of the after school programs that are there to help, because not everybody has money for a tutor. Some people come in there and volunteer and you can still get what you need."
DeMarcus Ware and five of his teammates spent Monday afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver.
Why was it important for you to invite a group of kids from the club to the advance screening of "Annie" with you and your teammates?**
"Being a kid, you're smart. Some people when you go places it's 'Oh, they're just coming here to show face or they'll come here for a couple of hours and maybe do community work.' But when you really sit there and get to know the kids' names, their families, what they went through, play a little basketball with them and say, 'Hey, you know what? I know what it's like to be in these type of circumstances.' It's good to just take them away for a couple of hours and just show you really care and give them a unique experience."
Why was it important to share the experience with your teammates that came to the club and attended the movie screening?
"It's always about support. When you can get support from your teammates and guys that are volunteering their Mondays off—they could have done anything they wanted to do but they chose to be there at the Boys & Girls Club and do something with those kids. It shows how their hearts are and what their morals are and that there are good people in the NFL."
Does visiting the Boys & Girls Club and interacting with the kids bring back memories of when you were a kid?**
"It reminds you and humbles you of where you started. There is a reason you do this now and it's to be a good role model for those kids because they look up to you knowing that you had the same circumstances, came from where they come from and they actually can have a better connection with you because they feel like 'If he can do it, I can do it.'"
When did you first get involved with community service?
"I started doing community work in college [at Troy University]—whether it was with the YMCA or the ROTC program, Big Brother, Big Sister—things in the community where you could reach out to the kids and touch their hearts. Now being in the NFL doing the same thing you can be an even bigger role model and enhance the number of hearts you can touch."
Why is it important for you and your teammates to spend your off days giving back?
"I think it's good to devote time when you have time. Sometimes you have to get away from work—whatever your hours are—sometimes it's good to go out in the community and do something to kind of humble yourself at times, bring you back down to earth. It's just a good thing if your heart is there, why not do it? It makes you feel better at the end of the day. Sometimes that can carry over into the next day where you're feeling good about what you did and you're touching people's hearts and making them feel good."