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!


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 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!!!


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

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!


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


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 

A new goal for the new year

The end of the old year and the beginning of the new are both busy times, filled with the sharing of gifts with family and friends. And that's why I want to send a personal thank you to all of those who took the time to include us in the sharing of gifts during this...

Remembering Peter

My dear Peter is gone.
We sang him home on the last day of the year, gathered around his bedside as we had done for so many days before.

‘Send them green.’ A special message from a Sunny Center supporter!

“I had the wonderful opportunity to be a guest at the Sunny Center this past July. My first trip to Ireland, it always is a magical moment to visit friends who live overseas…”

Exonerees are succeeding, thanks to you!

Helping people exonerated of crimes they did not commit, setting them back on the path to a fulfilling life, is a monumental task that we depend on the dedication of volunteers, both near and far, to achieve.

Even in summer, the work doesn’t stop

We’re in midsummer now, with its long days that stretch until 11 in the evening here in Ireland. It’s a busy time for everyone and everything.

The power of art to heal and renew

Did you know that Peter was a woodworker and an artist? He created so many things. But more importantly, he taught those skills to other Exonerees when they visited the Center.

Looking for green shoots

Photo by Samantha Bookman. Peter and I chose to situate the Sunny Healing Center here in this beautiful location in the west of Ireland. A newcomer may at first see only a barren, rocky, windswept landscape. But, put your hand on the earth here, and you can feel the...

A message from Sunny about Peter

The time has come to say farewell to our dear Peter, who is in the process of transitioning from this body and this plane.

Finding Peace, Joy and Hope

The events in Ukraine over the past several days have been ever-present in all of our lives through the daily news and constant social media. These times can be especially difficult for Exonerees because of the traumas they are working to overcome.

Love Is Always the Answer

Winter is always a little bit quieter than the rest of the year. After a long day spent maintaining the Sunny Healing Center and getting it ready for visitors, it’s time for us to cuddle up with the kittens and, of course, Barney, on chilly winter evenings with a warm fire in the hearth.

A Happy, Healthy and Healing New Year to All

Love has no barriers and no limits. And neither does our gratitude for your continuing support and friendship. Know that you are never alone, because you are part of our family.