Tragic Chapel Hill murders spawn a silver lining according to family

DURHAM (WTVD) -- In the days following last month's triple murder in Chapel Hill, the loved ones of the victims largely found strength in faith, family, and friends.

However, in the weeks since then, they have been bolstered by myriad acts of kindness around the world, done in the name of the three students killed: 23-year-old Deah Barakat, his wife, 21-year-old Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister, 19-year-old Razan Abu-Salha.

"Everyone as a response to this said 'What can I do to help,'" said Deah's brother, Farris Barakat.

Among the kind acts Barakat has seen is a national food drive with the goal of collecting 100,000 cans of food for the homeless in Durham.

"The last post my brother made on Facebook," said Barakat, "was about him and a few others donating food and dental supplies to about 70 homeless people in Durham and people were inspired by that and wanted to continue that legacy."

Barakat says the "Feed Their Legacy" campaign was started by a total stranger in Tennessee. He said that's just one of many acts of goodwill spawned by the murders. Barakat said a Turkish relief organization has set up a dental clinic in Deah's name. He and Yusor were headed to Turkey later this year to perform free dental work on Syrian refugees.

There's also a You Caring page that Deah started to raise money for the same cause.

"He was at $16,000 of a $20,000 goal the day before he was murdered. Now, he has almost $500,000," said Barakat.

Both families take comfort in the notion that even though their loved ones aren't with them anymore they are still making the world a better place.

"There's this rule," said Farris Barakat. "If you love God and God loves you, he'll make other people love you. So to me, it's like, because of all the love and service and good that they've inspired, it almost tells me for a fact that God loves them too."

Click here for more on the "Feed Their Legacy" event.

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