From our neighbors…

We love hearing from youth and adults around the world!

Thank you to all of you who take the time to explore our website, to read the news and feature items, and to send us your comments and thoughts.

We hope that by sharing your feedback in this section, others are inspired to reflect on and embrace a message of peace.

We are especially excited to share your comments on how YOU are taking a message of hope and peace forthward in your home, your school, your community, and your country.

You are encouraged to reach out to us with a reflection or response to any of Mattie’s messages at any time, simply click the “Contact Us” button at the top of the page to leave your feedback.

String of hearts

Kelly Trujillo, President – Achilles International, Kansas City – November 2020

Dear Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation!

I have thought a lot about you guys over the years. Growing up, I was always excited to get home from school because my mom and I would get together every day to watch Oprah at 4. There are very few episodes that truly, deeply stuck with me. I was born in 1993 and I was SHOCKED that another kid would be able to speak to Oprah, while being so profound and caring while he did it. Mattie showed me that no matter my age, I can have an impact on the world for the better and that has stuck with me ever sense. A few months later, when a teacher asked us to write a paper about a hear of ours, I chose Mattie. I still remember being so excited to tell all of my friends how badass Mattie was 😊. As my mom would say, Mattie “gets it”. What “it” is, is hard to explain… but it is a deep worldly love for each being. Being family and friends of his, I know deeply that whoever is reading this, “gets it”, too.

On this wild journey in life, I find myself settled in Kansas City at 27 with a constant feeling that I need to be doing MORE. As a former athlete, I’ve watched athlete after athlete, being crushed by losing the identity their inner Champion. That said, a year ago I decided I would start my journey in starting a Non-Profit Chapter of Achilles International in Kansas City; we build a loving community of athletes with varying abilities and help them participate in mainstream races. I want to help more people feel the sense of accomplishment one feels knowing they just fought their way to the joyous finish line. Due to covid, everything this year came to a sudden halt and we now won’t be able to start the chapter until next Spring 2021.

To be honest, yesterday I felt pretty hopeless about starting the nonprofit. So I asked the universe for a sign that this is what I am meant to do…

Today, the first podcast I opened was Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday… It was a replay of Mattie’s episode. The same episode I watched all of those years ago with my mom. I clicked play and 16 minutes in (my old soccer number), he read his Champion poem.

On Being a Champion

If there was ever a sign, this was it. Needless to say, I am bawling writing this. I now know that I am on the right path to continue to help others realize the Champion inside themselves. I have always felt that Mattie is one of my angels as I’ve grown up. I’m listening. I promise I’ll continue to spread joy, hope, and love in the world with him in mind. I can’t express how grateful I am for getting this confirmation that I am on the right path.

Thank you so much for the love you and your team have and continue to bring to this world.

String of hearts

Elizabeth A. Lawton, June 2020

Thank you for your continued work and ongoing projects and documentary. I have used Mattie’s words in my classroom since the first time I listened to him on Oprah. His words, his gifts, and Jeni continue to inspire me and my students. Just today, I passed one of Mattie’s books to a 4th grader who is a peacemaker and reminds me of Mattie in the desire to be a Peacemaker and distribute kindness, empathy and peace to all citizens. Here at our small school we consider ourselves Citizens of the World and are honored to count Mattie and this organization as one of our greatest inspirations. Now, with the world in so much pain and our peacemakers being knocked down hard we pray even more for Mattie to shine down upon us all and help to bring his message once again loud and clear to a world that so desperately needs him. May God continue to Bless you and all you do.