ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Allentown is getting a $25,000 grant that will be used by volunteers to clean up the town.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski plans to use the grant to spearhead a movement of volunteers to help revitalize 50 city blocks and remove 7,500 pounds of litter, clearing illegal dumping areas and removing graffiti.

The grant is from the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Allentown and 22 other U.S. cities are sharing a total of $1 million in grants from Cities of Service to support mayors "who are harnessing the power of volunteers" to address priority problems in their communities—a model referred to as “impact volunteering.”

The grants range from $25,000 to $100,000.

 More than 60 mayors applied for Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund grants to support the implementation of nearly 90 initiatives

In the face of mounting fiscal challenges, when municipal and state resources are strapped, cities across the country have begun a powerful movement to leverage the power of the country’s most precious resource—its citizens.

Mayor Pawlowski is part of the Cities of Service Coalition of more than 180 mayors who strive to connect local needs to the supply of willing volunteers in innovative and impactful ways, ultimately making local government more effective.

The Coalition was started by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2009.