June 14, 2017

Co-workers honor slain Gainesville grad with day of service at domestic violence center

By Nick Watson

The (Gainesville) Times

Wearing a bracelet with her sister’s motto, “be excellent,” Dao Huynh and her sister’s co-workers tried to “channel their inner Trinh” with a day of service Friday at the Gateway Domestic Violence Center in Gainesville.

“She tried to put love and good in the world every day,” Dao Huynh said of sister Trinh Huynh, 40, who was killed April 3.

A Gainesville High graduate, Trinh Huynh was shot and killed in Atlanta. She had worked for the UPS legal team for roughly 11 months.

“She touched a lot of people, even in the short amount of time she was with UPS,” Jill Termini of UPS said.

A swarm of brown-shirted volunteers brightened up the shelter with fresh coats of paint inside the shelter, along with landscaping work and carpentry. Trinh’s co-workers described the 40-year-old attorney as a breath of fresh air, a pleasant and happy woman dedicated to serving others.

“She didn’t have a bad bone in her body,” Gene Davidson of UPS said.

Dao Huynh, the youngest sister in the family, said her sister was “a superlative in every way, but a very relatable person.”

“She always tried to help others, to do good, but she did it in a way that was very understated,” she said. “She made it seem very doable.”

It was only recently, for example, Dao Huynh learned of the homeless people to whom her sister would give leftover food. She donated and volunteered with numerous causes, bidding on everything at charity silent auctions.

“She never made excuses for herself, and she did everything that she could to love people from all walks of life, all classes of society, all races, religions,” she said. “She just really was a very loving person.”

According to her obituary, Trinh Huynh worked with the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association and was on the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network, which “provides pro bono legal services to immigrant victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes.”

When the UPS legal team hoped to schedule a day of service, the family said Gateway would be the perfect fit.

“This is such a tragic thing that’s happened, and we were honored that they wanted to pay tribute to Trinh by volunteering their time with us,” Gateway’s Executive Director Jessica Butler said.

The only thing missing on a day of service like Friday, Dao Huynh said, was Trinh, who had a way to make the day brighter.

“She’s the benchmark by which I’ve measured my life,” she said. “I fall short, but I keep trying.”

The article was originally published on June 10, 2017, in The Times. Click here to read the complete story and view photos from the work day.