Thousands volunteer as part of National Make A Difference Day

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MESA, Ariz. -- A sea of volunteers took to the streets to leave their city better today than it was yesterday. It was all a part of National Make a Difference Day. More than 1,500 volunteers were up bright and early to kick off their efforts locally.

The task list included 50 projects such as painting walls and curbs numbers. Eyesores at local parks and in alleys were also cleaned up. The Mesa Fire Academy went door-to-door distributing fire safety information.

Volunteers young and old said giving back to their community made them feel good about themselves and increased their civic pride. The city of Mesa, hopes this year will top last, when free clean-up efforts saved more than $100,000.

Mesa-based United Food Bank also set up a truck and bins to collect food and clothing donations.

Make a Difference Day happens every fourth Saturday of October throughout the country and involves millions of volunteers doing everything from cleaning parks and rivers to refurbishing schools to building community playgrounds.

It's all about building better neighborhoods, and this Make a Difference Day, Mesa residents became the change they wanted to see in their community.