Mattie Stepanek: A Beacon of Hope and Peace


In a world often marred by conflict and discord, there are rare souls who shine like beacons of hope. Mattie J.T. Stepanek was one such extraordinary individual. Despite facing immense challenges, he dedicated his short life to spreading messages of peace, love, and compassion. Let us delve into the inspiring story of Mattie Stepanek and explore the legacy of the 

Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Foundation.

Who Was Mattie Stepanek?

Mattie J.T. Stepanek (1990–2004) was not your typical child. Born on July 17, 1990, grew up in Rockville, MD, died at Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., Mattie faced a rare form of muscular dystrophy called dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy. Despite his physical limitations, Mattie’s spirit soared. At the tender age of three, he began composing heartfelt poems he called “Heartsongs.” These verses reflected his deep wisdom, empathy, and unwavering belief in peace.

Heartsongs and Peace Advocacy

Mattie’s Heartsongs touched hearts across the globe. His words resonated with people of all ages, reminding them that peace was not an abstract concept but a choice they could make every day. His poetry books, including Heartsongs, Journey Through Heartsongs, and Hope Through Heartsongs, became bestsellers.

But Mattie’s impact extended beyond his poetry. He became a peace ambassador, advocating for understanding, compassion, and unity. His appearances on television shows like The Oprah Winfrey Show and Larry King Live amplified his message. Mattie believed that peace was possible, even in a world filled with strife.

The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Foundation

To continue Mattie’s mission, the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Foundation was established. This small, volunteer-based 501©(3) non-profit organizationaims to:

Promote Peace: The foundation provides access to Mattie’s message of hope and peace. It encourages understanding and motivates people to take action in sharing this message.

Educate and Reflect: Through educational and recreational resources, the foundation encourages personal and community reflection on peace. Mattie explored various peace elements, and the foundation selects quotes, poetry, and book excerpts to support people of diverse ages in choosing peace.

    How Can You Contribute?

    1. Visit

    Explore the foundation’s website,, where you’ll find inspiring content, upcoming events, and ways to get involved.

    2. Support Peace Building Efforts

    Consider donating to the foundation. Your contribution helps sustain Mattie’s legacy and spreads the message of peace. Visit this link to learn more.

    3. Purchase a Brick in Mattie Stepanek Rockville Park

    Rockville Park, located in Maryland, offers an opportunity to honor Mattie’s memory. You can purchase a personalized brick that will be placed in the park. These bricks serve as lasting tributes to Mattie’s enduring impact. For details on purchasing a brick, visit

    The park features:  Court(s) Drinking Fountain(s) Grill(s) Mutt Mitt Station Outdoor Fitness Equipment Park Benches Park Shelter Parking Picnic Tables Playground Equipment Soccer / Multi-use Field Tennis Court(s) 3 lighted tennis courts- 4 dedicated pickleball courts 26.29 acresAdjacent to the Rockville Dog Park Bankshot court

    The Park is located at: 

    Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park

    1800 Piccard Drive

    Rockville, MD 20850

    Mattie Stepanek’s life may have been brief, but its impact reverberates through time. His Heartsongs continue to inspire, and the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Foundation ensures that his message lives on. Choose peace, just as Mattie did, and we can work towards a world where love and compassion prevail.

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