About Mattie’s Heartsongs & Books

Posted on: January 5th, 2013 by jeni No Comments

 

Your Messages… 

About Mattie’s Heartsongs & Books

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May 2015

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Dear .Jeni Stepanek,
This email is long overdue.  I simply want to let you know that Mattie’s “On Growing Up” poem has touched the lives of many children and adults across the Middle East.  As an educator, I have had the privilege of  reading this particular poem to many children and adults while working with them in various children environments.
Mattie has touched many lives as you well know and he has certainly touched mine.  I continue to cherish his poetry through the young hearts that continue to hear his precious and peaceful words with such profound messages for all.  Your son lives on forever! Blessings to you!
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Kindest Regards – Lucia Di Pietro-Sabatino
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Reply: 
Wow – what a wonderful message to receive. It is so good to know that Mattie’s life and legacy, and the message of Heartsongs and hope and purpose and peace that he offered to people around the world continues to inspire and touch lives. Thank you for taking the time to write.
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Since Mattie died, I have worked very hard to continue his mission of peace – for individuals and for communities of people around the world. Every few years, I choose one poem that becomes the focus for activities and messages. In 2010 I selected “For Our World” — which was translated by global citizens into about 50 languages. In 2013, I selected “December Prayer” and invited global neighbors to translate this poem, or to express it artistically in some way. This year, I decided that the next poem for global activities is “On Growing Up (Part V).” I would love to know how the poem is being used in your area, and what are the responses and how it is inspiring children and adults in the Middle East. I would love to post this on Mattie’s website, and send you a Peace Activity Certificate for your support.
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Peace – Jeni Stepanek, Ph.D. (“Mattie’s mom”).

October 2014

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Jeni, I wanted to share with you why I purchased Mattie’s book. Other than agreeing with Mattie’s overall message of peace and wanting to support his mission, there is a backstory to my purchase. My grandmother saw Mattie on Oprah when I was a child. She told me about him and how I should strive to have such a positive attitude about life. Anytime I would get discouraged or upset about something she would say, “Look at this little boy who has every right to be mad and hateful, but he chooses to see good and be happy.”  She gave me the money to purchase his first book, but we were unable to find it (this was before the internet was as widespread and AOL was the extent of our internet experience) because all the stores we went to were sold out.
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I am now 25 years old and I work with special needs children, I am currently attending college to become a teacher for CDC-A or CDC classes. I could not get my grandmother or Mattie off my mind last night and decided to see if his books were still available. I was thrilled to see your organization! I also saw that Mattie passed in 2004, a short 3 months before my grandmother.My grandmother had terminal lung cancer and passed away in our home when I was 15. She always had a positive attitude, and I think Mattie had something to do with that. I appreciate your son so deeply, and hope to pass his legacy on to the children I work with. Thank you so much for working so diligently to keep Mattie in the hearts of others, and to keep the dream of peace alive. Sincerely, Kendra Lane, Knoxville, Tennessee
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May 2014

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September 2013

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Good morning Jeni. I wanted to let you know. I’m half way done with Just Peace. It has given me a helping hand. When i have been down. But i must say that reading. Believing in Someday is now one of my favorite pomes. – Tina Bowey via Facebook

I know about this kid from Oprah Winfrey Show. I cried out loud when watching him on Oprah. I just cannot that believe he has already passed away. I cherish his poem entitled “When I Die” (in Journey Through Heartsongs). He’s one of the greatest young peacemakers I know. Rest in peace, Mattie! We all love you! =’) — Zoe Spiritto via Facebook

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April 2013

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My 7th grade class and I together read Mattie’s poem “A New Hope” last Friday. I paired it with a novel chapter about a young lady who had become scared of life because of the violence in her neighborhood. The students really enjoyed the poem and also enjoyed hearing about the remarkable Mattie. – Laura Graham Fetters via Facebook

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November 2012

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I happened to find your book in a dollar store, thinking ok it will be another book I find my self drawn to it… your son was well beyond his years and had such a amazing outlook on life….there are thousands of people who can’t even make it through a single day without a poor pity me attitude…your son made out through more in a day then anyone should .have go thorough and he his attitude. My thoughts when I finished reading your book…what a amazing inspiration your son was….he seemed to really touch lives…I have to admit he made me think things differently…we all dwell On our own misfortunes….he had so many but still managed to inspire others…God blessed you… – Stephanie Bobchin Barnes (via Facebook)

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Mattie.. You have no idea how much you have truly impacted my life, and still continue to do so EVERYDAY! Your poetry speaks so deeply into my heart and I cherish every word that you ever spoke/wrote. I search for your books at thrift stores.. I have a nice collection going on now. I plan on leaving them as gifts to random people that just happen to stop at the park benches I leave them at. I have a feeling you will touch thier souls too… Angel.. inspiration. Love ♥ – Sarah Shaffer  (via Facebook)

 

October 2012

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Mattie’s message of hope and peace is all around me,, I have read his (your) book and passed it on to others.. Thank you and GOD bless you. – Brandy McGraw (via Facebook)

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September 2012

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Hi!!! Ms. Jeni, i remebered when i was in highschool my english teacher gave us a poem that we need to recite in the next day, and it was a HEARTSONG by Matthew Stepanek, its almost 9 years past but i still not forget Mathew, he so much inspired me. I hope i we will meet someday and touch one matthew’s books… We love both of you. – Pauline Jen Garcia (via Facebook)

August 2012

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Mattie inspired our Mom and our family as she fought Lou Gehrig’s disease. Heartsong books brought joy to her and all our lives. Thank you Mattie for being our angel and inspiration. – Lisa Carlson Allision (via Facebook)

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July 2012

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Reading poems & Heartsongs by a child whose character portrays the type of person we should all strive to be #MattieStepanek – Miss McNamara (aka @MissMac2012 via Twitter)

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June 2012

Finally after an extremely long time my copy of Messenger The Legacy of Mattie J T Stepanek and Heartsongs arrived, and I’ve spent the last 4 hours reading. I’ve laughed and Ive cried and Im sure as I continue to read this inspiring story of Mattie’s life and of yours Jeni, there will be more laughter and tears. I first saw Mattie on Oprah , like so many around the world, and have felt a connection to your son as my Matthew was born 2 weeks after yours, and I chose his name because of its meaning  ”a Gift from God ” too. My son has lost his way spiritually speaking and I plan to give your book to my son Matt when he leaves to join the Australian Airforce. I have prayed that this is the path to lead him back to God and I believe that reading Mattie’s story will have a profound effect on him, this is my hope. Peace and love to you Jeni, from your Aussie friend xo — Lyn Wade (Australia) 

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I have all of Mattie’s books and they are so inspirational. For someone who only lived 14 years he was like an old sole. Every time I read one of his books I get a warm feeling inside. Keep up the great work sharing Mattie’s legacy with the world. – Jan-Fraser Coward from Sidney British Columbia Canada (via e-mail)

I never heard about your son before until i was given homework for my salesmanship class, to find anyone that was a great salesperson and make a presentation about that person in front of class. I then took a trip to the bookstore and went straight to the biography section and spent probably half an hour or more looking through most of the books and I came across your book call the Messenger and after reading the beginning from Maya Angelou i knew i found my person. First i was kinda hesitant because he wasnt really a salesman but i looked at it after reading the book that Mattie was the greatest salesman in the world. In our first chapter of our salesman textbook we use for class said ”The purpose of business is to increase the general well being of humankind through the sale of goods and services”. You see Mattie has definitely increased the well being of humankind with his service of wisdom and insight that deeply touched my soul. I did my presentation and everyone was so moved that they all wanted to borrow my book and asked alot of questions about Mattie, to which i cheerfully shared from what i have learned about Mattie. I ended my presentation with sharing Mattie’s poem “On Being a Champion” because thats the part of the book I cried so much in, because he captured the true essence of what a salesman should be but he wasn’t even talking about sales. That’s the beauty of sharing your own unique Heartsong from God — that it touches every other subject in the world because thats what your Heartsong is for, not for own enjoyment or fulfillment but its for the whole world as well. And in a way, that’s a perfect picture of God’s love, isn’t it? I even wrote a 5 page essay about your son for my same class. I am so blessed by your son’s Heartsong and I thank God for you and your son in this world, thank you thank you thank you, Thank you Jesus….God bless you Jeni and thank you again… – Jonah Tui (via www.matteonline.com Contact Us page)

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My 3 year old daughter & I were shopping with her grandmother over the weekend & a few other girls in a group. Some of them wanted to check out our local Salvation Army Super Store & the local Goodwill to see what treasures we could find. My 3 year old was told she could pick out any book she wanted… When we got ready for bedtime stories last night, she brought me her new book. It was Heartsongs. I read several of the poems to her before she fell asleep & never even looked at the author. This morning I decided to glance over the poems & noticed the author was Mattie Stepanek. I’m ashamed to say that I never knew many of the things about Mattie’s journey. I have spent a lot of time this morning on the computer researching his story & I can’t even explain the sense of peace & calm & love that I feel having found this wonderful book of poetry & now a beautiful story about the author that I can share with my daughter. Thank you so much for keeping his soul alive here & around the world! – Tonya Jackson Burroughs (via Facebook)

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May 2012 

I have all of his books and when I or my children were having difficult mito days I always think back Mattie and his family. Very inspiring and brought us all closer to God. – Christine F. (via Facebook)

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My life is not the same since I learned about Mattie. Mattie inspired me to be better, to find my own Heartsong. Because of him I want to live the life in a way that represent the higher me. Every time I watch him speak in a video clips, I can’t stop crying. Not because I am sad, but because i am over whelmed from the pure hearted boy. My body can’t contain my emotions and the tears are just running. Thank you Jeni for bringing to this world such an angel. Thank you Jeni for carrying his message. I never met you, but i feel such deep love for you both.Mattie will be in my heart as long as I live. THANK YOU. – Shira, Israel (via Matttie’s Peace Network)

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Jeni: Your book, Messenger, along with Mattie’s sit on my nightstand to remind me that “we are all family” and to “listen to our Heartsongs”. Recently I mentioned Mattie to my grandson… he had mentioned something about what his heart felt about the creatures of the sea. He’s very in to sharks and whales… I told him those were his “Heartsongs” and told him about the young man who wanted Peace in the world. My little man, 9 years old, told me “Gramma, we should all love our world and our ocean because that’s where the sharks and whales live”…. it was so innocent but so HUGE for him to say! Thank you again for all you do. It is a labor of Love and I will forever honor Mattie’s vision and yours. – Dorothy Dimick (via Facebook)

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Learning about Mattie made me realize I was living without sharing my heartsong! I made the concious effort to try and be bettter each day and have shared his message with many friends. I was fortunate to have visited his Park with my family for the Peace Celebration and was a wonderful experience (rain and all). Have all of his books and the audiobook with his poems in the car, and my kids have memorized some of them. My husband, whose is not an avid reader, read Messenger and Just Peace… I am greatful because such a blessed soul has given us so much hope for a better peaceful world! – Karen Mejia (via Facebook)

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December Spotlight

In-Kind Support

Celebrating our "in kind" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with services and materials. Thank you ezStorage, Montgomery Printing, Parcel Plus, and Potomac Valley Brick! Read more...

Nourishment Support

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- Mattie J.T. Stepanek