ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –** The Christmas spirit was palpable at Jake's Toy Box on Thursday night as DeMarcus Ware stood in for Santa Claus, meeting families and presenting approximately 60 kids gifts.
The families and children were elated to see Ware walk into the store, all clad in a Santa suit – white beard and all.
"When I first came in I saw a little kid outside and they were like, 'Santa!' and I asked them if they were naughty or nice and they said 'I'm actually nice… I actually sent you my Christmas list' and he whispered it to me," Ware said. "It was funny because he wouldn't tell his mom but he would tell me. It's fun to just see that and kids still believe in something and it's all about faith."
There were 20 kids from the Wilfley Boy and Girls Club, 20 kids from Hope House and 20 kids from Family Tree -- each was surprised with a Huffy bicycle and a mini Broncos football. Ware distributed these gifts to the kids and signed autographs, played games and talked with the families.
Family Tree helps people overcome child abuse, domestic violence and homelessness while Hope House supports teen moms.
"A lot of these kids have never had a bike before and some of them are from battered families, some of them are from the Boys and Girls Club and some of them are just trying to get second chances," Ware said. "I think it's just awesome, it's great putting smiles on their faces."
Ware said it's important to spread holiday cheer and that he had a great time doing that with the families in attendance.
At the event, he recalled one of his favorite gifts from his childhood, a Kermit the Frog Big Wheel. Unfortunately, his first outing with the bike didn't go as planned.
"I rolled down the hill with it and skinned myself up, messed up my big wheel but I fixed it, I think that was probably one of the most exciting toys that I've had because I still have a bruise right now from riding down the hill," he said laughing. "Christmas day you usually want to play with the toys but I was at home in my bed, just trying to patch up my wounds."
DeMarcus Ware distributed bikes to 60 kids at Jake's Toy Box on Tuesday night.