DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) – As violence and crime climbs across Central Illinois, leaders are working to find ways to help. The mayor of Danville said sometimes the best things to do are out of our hands.
“I feel a little bit hungry, but I’m very thankful,” Rickey Williams Jr., the Danville Mayor, said.
You might ask, why not just eat? But it’s an important day for him to do the opposite.
“So, I’m asking for, and asking people to ask with me, for God’s help. And for those who don’t share faith, I’m asking them to take actions to help improve the community today instead,” he said.
Williams declared Wednesday a day of fasting and prayer.
“For me, it’s just a way to focus on things we need as a community. Every time I feel my stomach growl, I pray for something different. I pray for the safety of our people, I pray for the safety of our officers, I pray for wisdom for myself and the city council, because we have to make good decisions if our community is going to thrive and that’s what we’re working towards,” he said.
It’s something he’s done every year since he was elected. He said even though he gets some pushback, he still believes there are things that only a higher power can accomplish.
“We’ve worked really hard to fight crime. We’ve implemented neighborhood cameras, license plate readers, we’ve gone from 54 to 67 police with the authority to hire 3 more. We’ve created special units, we made lots of effort to make Danville safer and more prosperous, and we are trekking in the right direction, but there are some things we cannot do on our own,” he said.
Williams said non-believers and any religion can and should take part too.
“For those who say separation of church and state, I try to do it in such a way that’s respectful of that. You’ll see the proclamation doesn’t mention a specific god or ask people to pray in anyone’s particular name. I expect people to do that in whatever faith you have,” he said.
He said non-believers should take the time they normally eat, and instead give back. He said volunteer, plant flowers, help a neighbor, anything that will make a difference.