CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A group of volunteers spent the day cleaning up damaged businesses.
Dozens brought brooms, bags and gloves, and got to work. They picked up trash, broken glass, and other items on Prospect Avenue.
“We’re doing things for the community, and we’re feeling a sense of healing on our own,” said volunteer Nick Meredith. “We’re in this altogether, so you know. Just peace, love and positivity, that’s all we want to spread.”
Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb’s cousin Kevin, organized the effort. They gathered in a parking lot across from Marketplace Mall. The mall was also targeted by vandals. Cobb just returned from protesting in Minneapolis. He feels vandals in Champaign are focusing on the wrong things.
“I think, unfortunately, Champaign’s gotten away from the real reason all this stuff is happening across the country,” explained Cobb. But he says the situation could be worse. “In Minneapolis, they’re burning everything down. We gotta replace doors, they gotta replace the whole building,” he said.
Either way, volunteers say they’re happy to be part of something positive.
“This is the time to really unite in love and fellowship together where we can be able to take over with love and not hate,” explained volunteer Joseph Wilson.
Organizers also took donations in the former Za’s parking lot across from Marketplace Mall. They planned to give most of them to the homeless or less fortunate. Some of the businesses damaged on prospect include Target, Meijer, CitiTrends, Best Buy and several at Marketplace Mall.