MESA, Ariz. - The Mesa Urban Garden in a massive citywide effort of 2,938 volunteers at 36 work sites who helped their community on Make a Difference Day. Others in Mesa are working to push the dream of a better community forward.

Volunteers do this by means of removing trash, painting homes, cleaning yards and alleys, reporting graffiti via smartphones, painting curb address numbers, distributing "neighborhood awareness bags" with information on recycling, smoke detectors and city services and creating a mural for veterans.

The garden operates on a small budget, about $3,000 a year.

Group photo of donation recipients for Mesa Urban Garden. (Photo: Mesa Urban Garden)

Michelle Alvis-White organized the group of thousands who volunteered for Mesa's Make A Difference Day.

Alvis-White, who is credited for orchestrating the project, was tragically killed in a car crash on Jan. 20.

Her work was nominated for a grant offered by TEGNA, which owns 12 News. Out of thousands of applications, the nomination on Alvis-White's behalf was selected for the $10,000 grant.

“That could last us for a long, long time,” says Ryan Winkle, founder of Mesa Urban Garden.

The money will be used to grow the garden and preserve what’s already there, like the area dedicated to Michelle Alvis-White.

"She’d be so grateful for everything. I don’t think she would have realized how many lives she touched,” said Alvis-White's sister, Beth Delci.