BEND, Ore. -

The Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon announced Thursday that Oregonians and Lithia Auto Stores rallied to help the “Keep Kids Safe” license plate program reach its annual sales goal of 500 plates.

The “Keep Kids Safe” plate was released in October 2012 as a sustainable source of revenue for child abuse prevention programs across communities in Oregon. Proceeds from the plate are managed by the Children’s Trust Fund, a statewide nonprofit with more than 25 years of preventing child abuse and strengthening families in Oregon.

The legislation that created the group plate mandates that a yearly threshold of 500 plates must be sold for the Department of Motor Vehicles to continue the “Keep Kids Safe” program.

As the October deadline approached, Lithia and their Oregon dealerships managed to register the remaining 50 plates needed on the final day to ensure the plate goal was achieved.

Lithia spokesperson, Polly Richardson says they are proud to partner with the Children’s Trust Fund and community members to protect kids in Oregon.

“This effort has a significant impact on the children and youth in our communities and supporting the program aligns with our Lithia4Kids charitable giving initiative which focuses on strengthening local youth development,” Richardson said.

“With more than 11,500 children in Oregon confirmed as victims of abuse and neglect in 2011, every bit of support and investment in communities to strengthen families and nurture children makes a difference,” says Susan Lindauer, Executive Director of the Children’s Trust Fund.

“We are excited to see Lithia Auto Stores step up for Oregon’s kids. We couldn’t have made it without their leadership, support and through the tireless efforts of Josie Whisnant.” Lindauer and community members hope dealerships across the state will join Lithia in helping to raise awareness about the “Keep Kids Safe” license plate and child abuse prevention efforts in Oregon.

Purchasing a “Keep Kids Safe” license plate is an easy way to contribute to creating healthy, successful children and families and show your support for Oregon’s kids. To learn more about the “Keep Kids Safe” license plate, visit the Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon’s website at www.ctfo.org.