City of Mesa News Article
Mesa awarded $25,000 Cities of Service grant to implement "Love Your Block"
By: Melissa Randazzo
12/10/13 4:59 PM

December 10, 2013
Contact for City of Mesa
Melissa Randazzo
(480) 644-3219

Grant Funds, Provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Will Support a New “Impact Volunteering” Initiative for Neighborhood Revitalization in Mesa 

Mesa, AZ - After receiving a record-number of applications, Cities of Service announced that it has awarded $25,000 to Mesa to implement a service initiative designed for neighborhood revitalization. Mesa is one of 23 U.S. cities to win a Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund grant, which supports mayors who are implementing “impact volunteering” strategies that tackle pressing local challenges.

“Volunteerism has long been a hallmark of life in our city,” said Mayor Scott Smith. “We’re thrilled to be one of 23 recipients of grants from the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund, and will use these resources to help revitalize our neighborhoods and build stronger communities.”

Mesa’s $25,000 grant will support the revitalization of more than 12 communities by removing 10,000 pounds of waste, removing graffiti and painting the home exteriors of residents in need. The neighborhoods will be selected through the Building Strong Neighborhoods program and Neighbors Helping Neighbors requests.

The Cities of Service model focuses on impact volunteering – volunteer strategies that target community needs, use best practices, and set clear, measurable outcomes to gauge progress. Dozens of cities across the nation have adopted the model since its introduction in 2009. Cities that received first round grants from the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund in October 2012 already have shown success leveraging volunteers across a range of issue areas. For example, Fall River, MA created its first urban tree farm to support ongoing revitalization efforts; Austin, TX surveyed 10% of city-owned land to identify invasive plant species for removal to protect the local environment; and Little Rock, AR is engaging more than 3,000 elementary school students in a comprehensive anti-obesity and healthy eating initiative to improve health outcomes.

More than 60 mayors applied for Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund grants to support the implementation of nearly 90 initiatives. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 also will support efforts in Allentown, PA; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Birmingham, AL; Buffalo, NY; Campton Hills, IL; Charleston, SC; Fall River, MA; Flint, MI; Hartford, CT; Hayward, CA; Kalamazoo, MI; Kansas City, KS; Louisville, KY; Milwaukee, WI; Nashville, TN; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Richmond, CA; San Jose, CA; Utica, NY; and Washington, DC.   

Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund is a multi-million dollar fund. Nearly $1 million was awarded through the first round of grants in October 2012, with an additional $1 million awarded through this second round. Grantee cities were selected based on the quality of initiative proposals, scale and potential for impact, and caliber of implementation plans, among other criteria. Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund initiatives address issues in the Cities of Service priority areas of education and youth, health, neighborhood revitalization, preparedness and safety, sustainability and veterans.

About Cities of Service
Founded in September 2009 in New York City by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and 16 other mayors from across the nation, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of over 180 mayors committed to addressing critical city needs through impact volunteering. American cities face serious challenges and many mayors want to take advantage of every resource available to them – including the time and energy of public-spirited residents – to address those challenges. But in cities across America today, citizen service is often an underutilized strategy by municipal governments. By leveraging citizen service strategies, Cities of Service helps mayors address local needs and make government more effective. To find out more about Cities of Service, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter @CitiesOfService.

About Mesa, Arizona
The City of Mesa is the 38th most populous city in the United States with more than 450,000 residents which is larger than Kansas City, Miami, St. Louis and Pittsburgh. Mesa is a favorite destination to thousands of visitors with more than 300 sun-filled days a year and average temperature of 72.6 degrees. The area’s economy is driven by five major industries; healthcare, education, aerospace, technology and tourism. For more information about the City of Mesa go to

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