The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation is a volunteer-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization created in 2005 to continue the work of the late teen poet and peace activist, Mattie J.T. Stepanek. During Mattie's almost 14 years of life, he penned seven NY Times Bestselling books of Heartsongs poetry and Just Peace essays, and served as an ambassador for many peace- and disability-related organizations. You may remember seeing Mattie as a guest on Oprah, Larry King, or Good Morning America, or as a three-term national ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. A resident of King Farm, Mattie died in 2004 due to complications of a rare neuromuscular disease, but his vision of more peaceful world continues to inspire millions.
The mission of the Mattie's Foundation is to further the message of hope and peace he shared by providing access to the message, promoting understanding of the message, and motivating people to action in sharing the message. We create educational and recreational programs, projects, activities, and resources that encourage peacemaking as a deliberate choice for individuals and for our world. We celebrate Mattie's belief that "We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts, to nurture, to offer, to accept." Like Mattie, we believe that "Peace is possible!" and that "Peace is for all people!"
In 2008, the 26 acre Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park was dedicated in King Farm, filled with recreational amenities including ball courts and fields, a play ground, jogging paths, green space, and a dog park. Central to the park is a Peace Garden, which serves as a living reminder and tribute to this young hero who inspired us to "Remember to play after every storm!" In the Peace Garden, visitors can play a game of chess near the life size bronze statues of Mattie and his service dog Micah, listen to Mattie sharing excepts from poetry and speeches on the informational sound post, or explore the mosaic of gift bricks with messages from supporters all over the world.
The Foundation welcomes all donations and support that help us continue the mission of spreading hope and peace for all people. For more information about Mattie or the Foundation, or to learn more about specific programs such as Mattie's Peace Club, Mattie's Peace Network, Peace Certification (for individuals or groups and communities) or Pathways to Peace, please visit www.MattieOnline.com or e-mail mailto:HeartsongBooks@gmail.com.
Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation
2013 Board of Directors
Executive Director & Secretary
Jeni Stepanek, Ph.D.
Ann Y. Schmidt
Rich Gottfried, CPA
Laura J. Bauer, MPA
Cynda Rushton, Ph.D.
Mattie J.T. Stepanek
402 King Farm Boulevard, #125
Rockville, Maryland 20850