Raising Changemakers: Landry Feldmeier
Landry Feldmeier became active in Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Louisville, a non-profit, student-led organization that fills needs in the community by committing random acts of service to other teenagers.
Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
On the day our children are born, our hearts are filled with hope for their futures. We bring them into the world and wish them to be strong, healthy, happy, intelligent, capable, and good despite the inherent suffering around us. We hope, in the deep pulp of our hearts, for their lives to have purpose. We hope that their tiny hands will help others, and their hearts will be filled with empathy for others. We hope they might change the world.
In this article series, you will meet several young change-makers, who have used their power to serve others and the families who nurtured them to find their “why.”
TAKING CARE OF OTHERS, LOVING YOURSELF
Before Landry Feldmeier, 16, became 2019’s Miss Kentucky Outstanding Teen and runner-up in the Miss America Outstanding Teen pageant, she was dedicated to a life of service.
A family tradition in the Feldmeier home was to take the mischievous “Elf on the Shelf” and assign a daily mission of service to him once he was found. In addition to adopting children from foster care, the Feldmeiers also had an advent calendar that recommended a daily act of service instead of a cheap chocolate.
This practice inspired Landry to view service as a way of life. Service, to Landry, was seen as an integral part of life satisfaction, not a chore. It is what makes you feel good.
Amy Feldmeier, Landry’s mother, began by teaching manners to her small children and teaching them to notice, with intention, when people are struggling around you. Amy’s motto was “JOY: Jesus, Others, Yourself” — meaning that in order to truly feel joy, one needs to honor the tenets of Jesus and take care of others, and this helps you to love yourself.
This background led Landry to become active in Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Louisville, a non-profit, student-led organization that fills needs in the community by committing random acts of service to other teenagers. During the quarantine, RAK noticed a food security issue in Louisville as schools began to shut down. So, Landry and the other RAK volunteers assembled 10,000 snack bags to be distributed as supplements for needy families.
Landry’s personal motto is “Be bold, be kind,” and through her service with RAK and other non-profits like Opal’s Dream (an organization that grants wishes to patients in nursing homes), she has learned confidence in her ability to be a change-maker. “My outlook on life has changed. My goals are now centered on looking out for others. Once I realized the power of giving back, it was revolutionary for finding myself. I’m now always interested in how I can mischievously “RAK” someone. I’ve noticed when I give back, my bad days become better. It helps me move on,” Landry says.
And what changes has Amy seen in Landry since she dedicated her life to service? Amy says service has helped her daughter with communication and leadership. She has witnessed her daughter’s positive impact on other teens. “When you meet her in person,” Amy notes, “it is hard not to catch her warmth.”