Angela Wallace: Helping Families With Heart

By Kristine Hansen | Photography By Hillary Schave, Shot on location at Madison Youth Arts Center (MYArts)

Angela Wallace had no idea a volunteer gig at a friend’s nonprofit would eventually turn into a paid position. Witnessing Joe Herr’s work to honor his late son, Logan — born with cerebral palsy, who died at age four — moved her. While Logan was alive, Herr struggled to find someone to build a wheelchair ramp at his family’s home for an affordable fee. He eventually did it himself, vowing to do the same for others. Six months after Logan’s death, Herr launched Logan’s Heart and Smiles in 2002. The nonprofit makes accessibility and safety modifications to the homes of families with children with disabilities.

“That child can now go to school, doctor’s [and therapy appointments], and sporting events,” says Wallace. “You’ve really changed that child’s life and the people around them.”

In 2023, Wallace became Logan’s Heart and Smiles’ first paid executive director.

“I feel most like myself when I am helping and giving back,” she says. “It could be as simple as words of encouragement or advice between friends, or physically doing something to help someone.”

This year, Wallace is spearheading the nonprofit’s first legacy program, in which people can include the nonprofit in their estate plan or will. “We’ve had donors who have given to us for 20 years, but we’ve never [offered] them the option to donate to this type of opportunity,” she notes.

The organization will also add another paid position in the coming year to facilitate volunteers and donors to assist at project sites.

“The real power is experiencing it firsthand [for volunteers],” says Wallace, whose own volunteer experience building a ramp with the nonprofit cemented her commitment to the cause. Her 20 years of prior work experience with various Madison construction management firms also came in handy.

The nonprofit hosts multiple fundraisers a year, with the largest being their annual May event, held at the Oaks Golf Course.

“I have helped beat fundraising goals for the past two years [and] we have commitments in place for 2024 that will allow us to exceed for the third year in a row,” says Wallace. “If I am given a task, I will do everything I can to make it happen.”

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