Don Cates

Don Cates

Volunteer Spotlight

Don Cates has committed a great portion of his life to serving United Way as a volunteer in different capacities. As President and CEO of 3Rivers Federal Credit Union for over 8 years, it has been important to work alongside a leading nonprofit organization in Allen County. As a husband and father, his family was new to Northeast Indiana when they first moved here – now he is enjoying the traveling he can do as he follows his daughters through life, with one as a senior at Concordia Lutheran and his oldest daughter living in Nashville.

Don’s dedication to Allen County is evident just by learning about his involvement with United Way for over 20 years. Don describes the start of his relationship with United Way as a tribute to his employer’s “strong support of United Way that led to that initial awareness and giving” that he craved to be a part of. Don served as Campaign Chair and Board President of United Way of Miami County for many years and had been recognized as a Volunteer of the Year by the Indiana Association of United Ways. When he moved to Fort Wayne, it was important to Don that he be a part of United Way, so he has served as Campaign Chair twice for United Way of Allen County, participates in the Tocqueville Society Committee, and is currently the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors.

United Way of Allen County is a convener and a collaborator – vital to the community that we work, play and live in. To Don Cates, United Way is important because of the continued work that is being done for the 1 in 4 households in Allen County working hard but struggling to survive. Together, UNITED, individuals and organizations come together for this population. At 3Rivers Federal Credit Union, they have an internal committee that drives campaign goals for United Way and raises awareness for employees about community resources and what is happening right here in our community. For Don, it would be no exception that his company would not also have a strong relationship with United Way – which is why he continues to push campaign goals and use our Strategic Volunteer Engagement to see where they can fit in best. He states that “United Way helps 3Rivers connect our why to a how”.

As Don shares many times, it is important to collaborate because if you are not part of the solution then you could be part of the problem. Don cannot stand alone in this fight, so we ask you to join him in the fight for a healthier Allen County because Together, UNITED, we will make a difference.

Thank you, Don, for your support and commitment to United Way’s mission and to building a strong future for Allen County.

GIVE | Invest in individuals that are working hard but struggling to survive in Allen County.
ADVOCATE | Use your voice for those who cannot. Break down barriers for your neighbors.
VOLUNTEER | Raise your hand and give back by volunteering in your community.

A prime example of what United Way means to this community is the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to quick action and collaboration, United Way of Allen County was able to establish the Emergency Relief Fund. With community support, $2.8 million was raised for our neighbors that need it the most during this uncertain time. While the circumstances of this pandemic are terrifying and overwhelming, do not forget the sense of community and attitude of “we are all in this together” that has been shown – Don described this as truly inspiring because “there is hope, there is help, and there are wonderful people and organizations to lead us through this. I am proud to say that United Way is one of them”.