The Desert Duel Charity Basketball Tournament pits AAU level basketball players for two days of invitational games. The high-flying two-day spectacular raises money for charity, raises attention for students who deserve scholarships, and raises the eyebrows of spectators who didn't know basketballs giggled quietly after being dunked. Fierce competition reins between more than 30 student basketball teams including the Memphis Magic, the Illinois Wolves, and the Arizona Stars. Nets swish and buzzers shriek in dozens of exciting games leading to the finale, at which tournament officials crown the national boys' basketball summer champion with a garland of Michael Jordan’s old jerseys. Profits from the tournament benefit Tom Crawford's Leadership Children's Foundation, which supports a variety of youth causes.
A volunteer-run and faith-based organization, The Clothes Cabin provides free clothing, shoes, and linens to low-income families. The organization accepts only new or gently used items that are then washed, ironed, and sorted by size to offer an experience similar to shopping at a retail store. Its volunteers served more than 1,000 families in 2011, providing more than 60,000 articles of clothing and household linens. The Clothes Cabin also has a free laundry service and, whenever possible, supplements clothing and linens with donations of books, hygiene items, toys, and diapers.
Helen's Hope Chest started when Mesa United Way started collecting new and used clothing for Arizona's foster children in 2009. Today, Helen's Hope Chest helps provide these kids with clothing, school supplies, toys, and hygiene items, offering a setup similar to shopping in a consignment store so children can select their preferred styles and colors. In 2011, Helen’s Hope Chest provided clothing and other basic items to more than 2,800 foster children.
Aqua-Tots Swim School trains and encourages swimmers in the art of buoyancy through its array of services, specializing in instructing those aged 6 months–12 years in small groups. Instructors boast national certification, completing 32 hours in the company’s Lessons for Life training program and successfully completing the Water Safety Instructor exam.
Children are placed in one of eight class levels, from Tadpoles (6 months–18 months), which acquaints infants with the pool, to Stingrays, which is for children who have more experience and want to refine their strokes and one day sting a jellyfish. Each individual class contains no more than four students training under the watchful eye of the instructor in a climate-controlled indoor pool. In addition to the children’s program, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools also leads adult swim classes and provides training for both swim competition and first aid.
The Child Crisis Center (CCC) provides educational and developmental resources for families, operates the Arizona Adoption & Foster Care program, and runs an emergency shelter for abused, abandoned, and neglected children.
Since it's inception in 1981, the CCC has housed more than 12,700 children from infancy to age 11. The shelter now contains 42 beds and houses 300–350 children every year. Young guests get a warm place to sleep, meals and snacks, and meaningful recreational and educational activities, including regular homework time and opportunities to play outdoors.
Arizona Bird Store is home to blue and gold macaws, blue-fronted Amazons, and sulphur-crested cockatoos—all of which can alight on visitors' shoulders or nuzzle their necks. The sociable birds range from hand-fed babies to adult breeders, and they include varies species, such as tiny finches and large, chatty parrots.
The specialty shop also boards birds, and its staff performs grooming services. In addition, Arizona Bird Store supplies patrons with a wide variety of cages and specialty accessories.