Giving Back to the Communities We Serve

Today's auto dealerships aren't just places to buy, sell, or trade a vehicle, they are also known for giving back to the communities they serve. The best dealerships connect to their community by hosting events that are dedicated to charity. These events run the gamut from food drives to animal adoptions, helping the homeless, supporting our veterans, planting trees, and giving back through education.
Looking at our hundreds of Lithia Motors dealerships across America and Canada, here are some of the outreach programs that give back that are making a positive difference and we are proud to support.

Outreach Programs

On any given night there are over 500,000 people facing homelessness in America. According to CNN, many car dealerships offer space for homeless people to park and sleep overnight. Some even donate hats, coats, and blankets as well as port-a-potties.
Automakers offer discounts on cars for military veterans in appreciation for their service to our country. Dealerships have been known to offer special discounts as well, even setting disabled vets up with adaptive equipment.
Some dealerships invite local car lovers to bring out their cherished autos to be seen by the public with proceeds going to local charities. These sometimes include a giveaway for a new car. From antiques to hot rods and even electric cars, these events bring communities together.
At Lithia Motors we have been known to link car test drives with donations to create a positive impact on our communities and the planet. For instance, our GreenCars brand plants a tree for every test drive of a fuel efficient, hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric car. Last year, through a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, we planted 100,000 longleaf pine trees to reforest the Florida panhandle.


The guiding pillars of the Lithia 4Kids mission is to educate, advocate, support and strengthen the youth in and around the communities we serve. Lithia Motors has been giving back since the company started in 1946. We team up with organizations that help kids thrive, create safe places to learn and play, provide enriching experiences, and help to build resilient communities.
Lithia's success depends on its employees, from service technicians to the group of vice-presidents. "Without their skills, energy and inspiration, we would not be where we are today," says Bryan DeBoer, CEO and President of Lithia Motors. "We strive to maintain a friendly, professional environment where employees feel comfortable and valued."
For exhibiting excellence in business practices, with a strong family focus and a commitment to the community, Lithia Motors has been honored with the 2021 Dean's Award for Family Business Leadership. Since 1988, the Center for Family Enterprise has recognized family businesses who exemplify the values it hopes to foster in the College of Business.
"We are not a top-down company," Bryan DeBoer explains. "We recognize that local leaders know their communities, customers and employees best and we put our trust in their individual business acumen." That approach applies to Lithia's commitment to communities. "We are committed to creating value in the communities around the country where we operate by supporting initiatives that strengthen them through local giving, sponsored events and volunteerism," DeBoer says. "That is why we empower individual dealerships to manage their community involvement at the local level."
Many Lithia dealerships have long-term, ongoing partnerships with nonprofit organizations. "Our commitment runs deep and goes beyond just writing a check," DeBoer tells us. "We are often advocating for causes throughout the year, holding donation drives and volunteer events." 

An example is Lithia4Kids, a home office initiative providing community grants to support nonprofits that are dedicated to providing safe spaces for youth to learn and play. Many years ago, Brian's parents created the Sid & Karen DeBoer Foundation, a supporting organization of the Oregon Community Foundation which provides grants to improve the lives of Oregonians. The DeBoer's philanthropy helped to build the YMCA Camp at Lake of the Woods.
Lithia is also recognized for leading sustainability practices in the automotive industry. Lithia's GreenCars initiatives encourage consumers to pursue and explore planet-conscious transportation solutions. On Earth Day last year, Lithia introduced the new GreenKids Program where dealerships partner with local high schools on educational opportunities to increase awareness and knowledge of sustainable vehicles. Lithia even created a home-grown electric vehicle charging network. "We are going the extra mile in achieving this sustainability public education goal," Bryan DeBoer concludes.

Fueling Futures

With education in mind, Lithia Motors recently donated 12 million dollars to Southern Oregon University, the largest gift in the university's history. The Lithia and GreenCars Momentum Fund will pay for a $5 million scholarship program, a $4 million institute, and a $1 million president's fund. An additional 2 million will fund the annual Lithia & GreenCars/Raider Golf Tournament.
Lithia Motors is a major sponsor of local events and programs in its home state, including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Pear Blossom Festival, Southern Oregon University Student Athletics, Southern Oregon Women's Leadership Conference, and the Oregon Cultural Trust. It is involved with such national organizations as the Special Olympics, American Cancer Society, and American Red Cross.
At Lithia Motors our goal is to create more focused giving locally, so that we can have a significant impact on the organizations and communities where our employees and customers live and work. It's our way of fueling the future.