Mattie J.T. Stepanek – a young man born with a rare neuromuscular disease – understood what it meant to need hope and to seek peace in life. Yet, he believed that “peace is possible” and that it begins with simple choices in attitudes and actions that shape realities.
Although he died just a few weeks before his 14th birthday, Mattie’s poetry, leadership, and advocacy continue to be a substantial source of inspiration and information, and for empowering positive change in the world.
Mattie matters, and his message still matters in today’s world, because peace matters.
The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation is a small, volunteer-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization created to continue Mattie’s peace mission. Our materials, programs, and activities are developed for people diverse in age and ability and aspiration. They reflect Mattie’s enduring legacy – still relevant in the world today – and his empowering vision of a peaceful world, and they help people understand how to move peace from an abstract concept to purposeful choices.
Mattie encourages us to understand, and to believe, that peace begins in each person’s heart, and that it is expressed in each moment by our personal and community choices in attitude, word, and action. Mattie reminded us that tending to basic human needs and celebrating purpose are essential to peace. And, Mattie believed that peace can be taught, and that peace can be learned – by people of any age and in any place.
Most of our activities and programs are offered at minimal or no cost to participants – which is made possible by the generous support and donations shared by local and global neighbors. Now, more than ever before, we need the ongoing support of people like you – who share this vision of a more peaceful world.
We need people and organizations to help us continue developing and disseminating these tools of peace – so that they move into the hands and hearts of children and teens, and adults across the United States, and around the world.
We need you to help us amplify Mattie’s message, and realize Mattie’s mission – as together, we move peace from being a possibility that begins with personal and community choices, to a reality that celebrates the mosaic of humanity.
Please join us, and join Mattie’s friend and mentor – Former President Jimmy Carter (his personal letter of support is on this page), and join other peace champions – and support the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation.