Other Parent/Family Reflections

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

January 2013


My son found Mattie’s book at school. His class was doing an assignment on poetry. He told me he picked up Mattie’s book and could relate to everything he wrote. My son Matthew is going through a hard time. He’s also 13 and they believe he has muscular dystrophy. Ironically we share names too. I watched some of your speeches and I’m so glad. It has given me hope in a time I didn’t think I needed it. I really appreciate everything. My son wants to read all of his books now :-)  – Jenn Kelly (via Facebook)

***NOTE:  I hope you will consider signing your son up for Mattie’s Peace Club Teens. We even have a free “Peace Journey” (no travel) thy can earn Community Service Hours. Only $18 per year. Right now, we have two sponsorships available for teens who want to commit to the Peace Journey but honestly do not have the $18. Please chat with Matthew and see if this is something he might want to do. Peace — Jeni.

June 2012


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 & I really didn’t pay all that much attention to the book as it was her grandmother who was helping her pick out what she wanted. When we got ready for bedtime stories last night, she brought me her new book. It was Heartstrings. 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)


June 2011


From Beth Lawton, “Peace Pals” After-School Program in Boston, MA – 


Great Morning to you Jeni, I do hope this finds you well. I saw my after school Peace Pals today. I hope one day perhaps you can meet them. They have been so inspired by Mattie’s words and are doing such great work themselves as a result of wanting to do good AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE LIKE MATTIE. I saw you on Oprah as did my Peace Pals — which is my after school group of 1st through 4th graders. They keep a journal and yesterday the gave me their journals so I could email you some of their thoughts and comments in regards to hearing you on the show, which they all watched with their Moms.


“When I saw Mattie’s mother on Oprah, she made me even more inspired about Mattie. When it showed the Oprah show that Mattie was on, it showed everything he was meant to be.  I am so very HAPPY that he is in Sainhood in the Catholic Church.  Matties mother and everybody on the Oprah show,they just inspired me so much. Even, Oprah’s story inspired me too.”

Allyson C: 

” I saw that Mattie was a poet and a Peacemaker. He made Heartsongs. There is a Peace Garden and his new book, Messenger.
Always play after every storm is my new favorite thing to say.  I will remember that purple is the color of hope.”


“Watching the show and thinking about Mattie I felt very, very , very, very, very , very happy.”



” I feel sad, happy and Peaceful. I see saddness in the crowd and happiness everywhere around Mattie’s Mom.I really enjoyed seeing pictures of Mattie and hearing his voice and reading his poems.”

Alyson M:

“The show made me feel good that Mattie did make a difference in the world.  Everyone should know who he is.  He loved every moment of his life and he was happy.It’s good that his Mom lives right next to his park and can always be close to her boy. I feel sad that he died so young.”


I do have other Peace Pal Members but they were not here yesterday.  Their comments astound me . Thsi group of youngsters really do get the message of Peace and to me are the epitome of peacemakers.  They are making such a difference in their homes, their schools and in our community.  They have done some pretty remarkable things but even more important, beinng a peacemaker is who they are.  Their choices are all centered around being kinder, more respectful, thoughtful and tolerant.  I am so proud to facilitate and spend my time with these youngsters.


Being a Peacemaker is how they choose to live, they told me yesterday. Does the Park have a Peace Pole?  If not, perhaps that is something that we can help with, if you would like one, we could help raise the money and such, it could be our gift to you and Mattie? We would love to.


I would love to be a part of your organization, I am hoping to stop by Mattie Peace Garden in August if not sooner. My husband and I will be traveling to DC for the MLK Memorial Dedication and we will make a side trip to see the park. The Peace Pals were a part of pennies for peace earlier this year and collected peennies for the memorial which was sent along with artwork and their own poems about MLK. they received a vert kind letter from the President of the Foundation for their efforts.  Again, if I can do anything to help with what you are doing, please let me know.

Make it a great day, Always in Peace, — Beth Lawton
May Peace Prevail on Earth




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January Spotlight

May 5 at Botanero

Cinco de Mayo Partnership Fiesta - FREE ENTRY - All Day Happy Hour & food specials, Music by DJ Genius, ZamDance performances -- join us for a fundraising party that celebrates peace and acceptance! Read more...

June 2 at Dawson's

Mosaics & Music: Make Peace the News -- join us for wine & apps, music & mosaic unveiling, conversation & celebration at a fundraising gathering to promote peace! Early Bird Tickets $25 ($30 at the door). Read more...

June 21 and 22

Celebrating Mattie’s life & legacy – 15-year anniversary Mass on June 22 (11 am) at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Derwood, MD, followed by a reception hosted by Mattie's Guild - ALL ARE WELCOME. Read more...

July 13 in King Farm

2019 Peace Day Celebration – join us for a FREE street fair (1-5 pm), all day food & drink specials (1-8 pm), and a Happy Hour Dance Party (5-8 pm) – arts, crafts, music, performers, cake, moon bounce… Read more...

- Mattie J.T. Stepanek