Difference Makers: The Bies Family Foundation

Growing up in Michigan, siblings Jen Bies Duffy and Deucie Bies watched as their parents built their family business, all while raising two kids and living lives filled with generosity, love and passion. In the late 1970s, James and Lorraine Bies opened their first auto repair shop. Over the next 20 years, they grew their business into a franchise containing over 40 stores in surrounding states. While their relentless efforts to grow their family business was met with success, it is their actions of always striving to help others they will be most remembered for.  

“Our parents taught and raised us by the golden rule: treat others as you would want to be treated. They lived their lives by this philosophy and taught us to do the same,” remarks Jen.  

Jen fondly remembers seeing her mom pick up clothes that were on the ground and hang them up every time they were in a clothing store. Lorraine would say ‘Somebody has to do it and why not help them? Wouldn’t you want someone to help you if it were your job?’ Now as an adult, Jen has done the same thing since she was a kid, and thinks of her mom every single time. 

Whether they were supporting their kids, each other or a neighbor in need, the Bies knew there was always something they could give – a family value they wanted to live on through generations. Before they passed, James and Lorraine planned for the creation of a family foundation that would support those in need for years to come, and in 2019, the Bies Family Foundation was created with Jen and Deucie grateful to take the lead in fulfilling their parents’ wishes.  

The Bies Family Foundation supports areas of health, education, veteran causes and trade schools. The foundation has already made an impact in the Bies’ home state of Michigan through scholarships created for the local high school, college and trade school. 

In 2018, before the family foundation began, the Bies were introduced to The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families, a part of Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, through a facility tour which Katie, wife of Deucie, attended.  

Katie remembers her visit to The Howard Philips Center, saying, “When I first toured The Howard Phillips Center 3 years ago, I instantly felt the love of The Center’s mission and the dedication and passion of those who worked there. I knew it was a place I wanted to get involved in. So, when we setup the Bies Family Foundation, I was excited to recommend The Howard Phillips Center. One thing that stood out to me was the fact that The Center provides counseling and tools to help children and families improve their lives. They are not just putting a Band-Aid on a problem; they are setting people up for success and changing their trajectory towards a positive future.”  

In 2021, the Bies Family Foundation became the first-ever Difference Makers in our Advocates for Children Giving Society, generously donating $125,000 to support the facility and programs. Their support will have long-lasting impacts on assisting The Howard Phillips Center in providing needed services and resources to local teens, children and families.  

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