Hope Haven

Margelina, my long-lost Second Life avatar, has a friend! Her name is TinaLouise Serendipity. I created her because I couldn’t remember Margelina’s password. So they’re more like stepsisters and, actually, they have yet to meet.

Profiles, tweets, widgets, avatars, oh my! Social networking has created a wild new world. Given that newness, it’s easy for organizations to get caught up in the notion that they need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to engaging with constituents.

When Hurricane Katrina hit, Mississippi-based Hope Haven found its entire complex submerged in 6 feet of water, leaving its buildings either water damaged or destroyed. Director Terry Latham says that while the organization, a 10-year-old shelter for abused and neglected children located about a mile- and-a-half from the Gulf of Mexico, had the money to fix the buildings, it also had 12 to 15 children to care for and no furniture.

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