'We really did that together': Fairfield mother and daughter honored for community service

Deb and Casey Dies, of Fairfield, have become the first mother-daughter duo to receive the Beatrice Boucher Volunteer of the Year Award from The Center for Family Justice.

Deb and Casey Dies, of Fairfield, have become the first mother-daughter duo to receive the Beatrice Boucher Volunteer of the Year Award from The Center for Family Justice.

Contributed photo /

FAIRFIELD — Deb and Casey Dies have spent countless hours together volunteering as a mother-daughter duo at numerous events throughout the area.

Now, their work has earned them the recognition of the first mother and daughter to jointly receive the The Center for Family Justice's Beatrice Boucher Volunteer of the Year Award. It’s an honor given to someone for their outstanding volunteer service to the nonprofit which provides free, confidential crisis and supportive services to victims of domestic and sexual violence in six local communities.

“My mom has really been like my best friend so it means so much to me that she was honored with me because we really did that together,” said Casey Dies, 18.

Casey and Deb Dies live in Fairfield and have been volunteering with the center in Bridgeport for six years.

“It was a big honor because everyone that we work for is just a face of hope of their own and the people we work with the more we get to know them the more we just want to keep coming back,” Casey Dies said. “Everything that they’re doing is just so amazing that for them to honor us, it was just such a honor and really just a nice thing for them to do.”

The duo began volunteering when Casey Dies was just 12 years old as a part of the Fairfield Chapter of the National Charity League, a nonprofit which engages mothers and daughters in acts of service and philanthropy.

In just a few years, Deb Dies became the vice president of philanthropy for the organization as well as the liaison between the Fairfield chapter and the center. Together, the Dies volunteered for almost every event at the center like the annual Golf Classic, Halloween Boo Bash and the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event during Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.

At the time, Casey Dies was too young to undergo training and interact with clientele. However since her 18th birthday last summer, the psychology major at Cornell University was able to do the training. The opportunity has opened even more doors for the Dies to volunteer and help.

“When we were deciding on a deserving volunteer to honor this year, we loved the idea celebrating a mother and daughter who worked together to support our mission,” said Debra A. Greenwood, the center’s president and CEO. “Deb and Casey are so valued and appreciated by the CFJ for their professionalism, commitment and enthusiasm for our work. They are the epitome of rock star volunteers, and we are so excited to celebrate them.”

One of the first things that Deb and Casey Dies did to volunteer was pack bags of camp supplies for Camp Hope, a place Casey Dies spends most of her free time.

Casey Dies said she most enjoys being able to give back and help others through volunteering. It also provides great moments that she gets to share with her mother.

“That first day we were packing supplies, she was as much in that room packing supplies as I was, if not doing more than me,” Casey Dies said. “ I don’t think I would have even known about the National Charity League or found a way to get involved without her. I really am where I am because of her kindness.”

Deb Dies said she “couldn’t be more proud.”

“We have done quite a bit of volunteering together and there’s something that fills our bucket about it too,” Deb Dies said. “Obviously, we are in a privileged situation and we want to help others where we can, as best we can, but we get something back selfishly from doing that too.”

She said her daughter has “such a huge heart” and loves that she’s able to make these memories with her while helping others.

“When she’s busy with all her sports and other activities in school she found the time to spend that time with me and for us to be doing something productive,” Deb Dies said. “It’s very special and a lot of good memories now that shes off to college.”