By Jen Kastner
ODESSA- Born and raised in Odessa, James Cooper does what he can to give back to his hometown.
"We always need blood here in Odessa. There's tons of people that need the help. So, anytime that we can get blood, we need to get it," Cooper said.
Cooper and dozens of others donated blood on Saturday at the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo at the Ector County Colosseum.
Organizer Joyce Worley says, "We're having a blood drive for our community and surrounding area hospitals. We need blood right now."
She has been doing it for years. It's a cause she's happy to fight for.
"I just like helping people and I find this is a good way to help people," Worley said.
Instead of having to buy tickets to the rodeo, people who showed up Saturday to donate blood were handed free tickets to get in. Each donor received a pair of tickets along with a free t-shirt.
They were unnecessary but highly appreciated perks for Henry Lide.
"It's an important thing and during the holiday season they always have shortages and it's a good thing to do," Lide said.
Blood donations will be happening again next Wednesday. Just like on Saturday, donors will get free rodeo tickets.
"It just seems like the right thing to do. If I need help, I'd like for someone to help me. So, I'd like to help someone and hopefully if I ever needed it, someone would help me back," Cooper said.