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Serving by Preserving Two Gainesville Citizens Volunteer to Preserve Our Collective History W R I T T E N B Y J O A N N A G R E Y TA L B O T


veryone has something to give. No matter your abilities, skills, or availability all of us can contribute. Some of us are more comfortable giving our money or goods, while others enjoy giving the gift of our time. Each of those gifts are equally valuable but when you become personally involved in a particular organization or work to solve a specific problem you quickly become connected. Volunteering can change you for the better as much as the people you are working to help. As the Indian nationalist leader and world changer Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

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KAREN KIRKMAN – President and Historian of Historic Haile Homestead, Inc. If you have ever visited the Historic Haile Homestead museum in southwest Gainesville, then you have seen Karen Kirkman’s years of volunteering at work. In 1984 Kirkman and her family moved into the Haile Plantation neighborhood. As a lifelong history lover, she wanted to know the story behind the name and if it had actually been a plantation. She visited the local library and discovered the answer. The Historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation is owned by the Alachua Conservation Trust and the Haile family trust. The Historic Haile Homestead, Inc. (HHH) was established as a 501(c)3 non-profit to operate and raise funds for the home’s continued preservation. The Historic Haile Homestead opened to the public in 2001 and