March Newsletter

Mar 14, 2017 | Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,
Shamrocks from our local market. 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We wish great blessings and good fortune to all from our cozy corner in Connemara. As Spring comes to life here, let us all have hope for Peace and Joy in the world.
We are fortunate to have so many friends and supporters around the world. We are very grateful for your help because, otherwise, we couldn’t do the work we do to help Exonerees find healing and transition to a fulfilling life. 

We hope that people will consider honoring St. Patrick’s Day with a gift to the Sunny Center. Every donation counts. We thank you!


OUR GUESTS AND VISITORS

We look forward to delicious organic apples.

Since it’s Spring and the time of new beginnings, we welcome the addition of two new organic apple trees to be gifted to The Sunny Center by a supporter. We are looking forward to a bountiful harvest later this year.Our first Guest from Africa has applied for her Visa and we hope to welcome her in May. She will be our first female Guest and we are delighted that she can come!

2017 appears to be a year of firsts, as we will be hosting our first couples for healing. A number of our guests have found partners who have become part of their healing process. This is a wonderful blessing and we hope to be able to help them to heal and grow together. 


OUR VOLUNTEERS 

Our first volunteer Amy 

Our first volunteer Amy is helping us finalize our schedule of volunteers for 2017. We will be welcoming volunteers from Ireland, the UK and the US!!!


OUR ACTIVISM 

Sunny reading Home by Warsan Shire from Poems That Make Women Cry.

In honor of International Women’s Day, 100 extraordinary women were asked to choose a poem that moved them to tears. This distinguished women included Judi Dench and Sunny Jacobs. The resulting anthology was published this month in a book entitled Poems That Make Women Cry. To watch the video of Sunny reading Home by Warsan Shire, visit here or visit our blog page at thesunnycenter.comPeter’s interview on Jason Flom’s Wrongful Convictions podcast aired this month but can still be listened to here
Both Sunny’s and Peter’s interviews can be found on our website 
www.thesunnycenter.com

We are thrilled to learn that a production of The Exonerated will be performed in the UK in May. The Exonerated is a first person narrative play based on the stories of six wrongfully convicted death row inmates, including Sunny’s, which was created by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen and debuted Off-Broadway in 2002. It was also turned into a film, of the same name, in which Sunny was portrayed by Susan Sarandon. We will keep you posted.

We have been invited to submit an article to Prison Life magazine that will be distributed to every prison in the US! Let the healing be shared far and wide!!

We received a message this month from a student who heard us speak several years ago.  It is an honor to have helped shape the course of her life and, with her permission, we would like to share her touching remarks:

“Several years ago you attended Nottingham Trent University, where I was a student to share your experiences of the injustices you faced, but more importantly the peace and successes you were able to achieve both in and out of prison. As a student I was hopeful, like many young adults are, that I would be able to change the world, that I would be able to make a difference. At the time I was always led to believe that this kind of optimism would be something I would grow out of, like an old pair of shoes. It always seemed strange to me that people always invested so much into the education of the next generation hoping they would be the ones to make the world better, while simultaneously telling them that you have to accept the world for what it is. So here I am, almost 7 years later at 25, where I currently teach within the only dual site male and female prison in the UK. Prisons, offenders, and ex-offenders have been under a lot of scrutiny lately by the public. Many of our residents here at HMP Peterborough believe they are trapped, that there is nothing they can do to better themselves while in here, that they are simply waiting for time to pass. I try on a daily basis to encourage, and ignite a passion to do better, to be better in my learners, I tell them your story, I tell them the story of anyone who can inspire them to see their sentence as an opportunity to leave this establishment a better person. I would like to continue to do the best for my students, these people that are labelled as ‘offenders’, and in doing so I would like to invite you to attend the prison for a visit. While I know this is not always possible, 2 people a few years ago, inspired me to not give up. Although I hope it doesn’t take me 15 years to get the outcome I would like, I think it is worth a shot! So Sunny, and Peter, while I appreciate that you may be busy enjoying your lives, any symbol of hope you could offer to my learners would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, kind regards, Aleta.”

Well, Aleta, we hope to be seeing you soon!


.OUR FURRY FRIENDS

Molly relaxing by the fire.

We await with anticipation to the birth of new kids to Lama, Petal and Rosie. Milk and cheese again this year!

And our little Molly, the energetic pup we rescued, was spayed this month and got through the surgery and recovery well. She’s a big girl now and helps the others to keep the fox away from the hens

STAY CONNECTED 

So Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all. We hope you will stay connected to us through our newsletter, Facebook, or Twitter.

And to you we share an old Irish blessing,
“May the wind be at your back and the road rise up to meet you.” 
.
Peace and love,
Sunny and Peter 

Wishing You a Summer of Healing, Hope and Joy

While the start of summer certainly feels much calmer and more certain than it did last year, plenty of activity is going on at The Sunny Center!

More Than 2,700 Exonerees Need Your Help

The need for resources and change within the system is immense. But together, we can start making a difference right away!

You Can Make A Difference for Exonerees Right Now

We are happy and hopeful that we can soon return to working in person with fellow Exonerees. But you can help us right now, even from far away.

You Are Beautiful

It doesn’t matter what shape you are or what size you are. It matters how you feel inside. You are who you are. That’s you. The beauty comes from the energy that you radiate from within.

Exoneree Terry Wanzer, In His Own Words

Terry Wanzer was exonerated in 1996. But it took more than 24 years for the state of Georgia to clear his record. Read Terry’s story.

Celebrating Spring With Our Furry & Feathered Friends

With spring well underway, we thought it a great time to update you on how all of our friends at the Healing Center are doing!

Our Activism: Moving the Needle for Exonerees

March was another great month for activism. We got the word out about the struggle that Exonerees face after being freed, and raised awareness of the need for housing, counseling, medical care, and more – all the things that humans have a right to, and that have been denied to Exonerees for so long.

Watch: Dealing With Grief

It seems these days there is more and more to grieve about: the loss of our normal way of life, the inability to gather together. And sometimes we have to grieve over the emotions that we have to put aside until another time.

One Year On, A Silver Lining During the Time of Covid

Finding a connection even during social distancing. Connection is at the heart of what we do at The Sunny Center. And the pandemic, while making it harder to connect for everyone, made things especially hard for Exonerees. Whether they were recently released or have...

Exoneree David Stonecypher, In His Own Words

David Stonecypher was exonerated in 2019 after more than a decade behind bars in the Philippines. Like many Exonerees, he is facing the challenge of building a new life in a world that has changed dramatically while he was struggling to prove his innocence.

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