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 

It Takes A Community to Help Exonerees Heal

What an amazing summer this has been. We’ve been at home, raising a litter of kittens in our polytunnel and collecting eggs from our hens. And at the same time we have been able to reach out into the world and continue helping Exonerees.

Have you seen Sunny on YouTube?

Yoga and meditation are so central to our life and work at The Sunny Center. We meditate each morning to help us approach the day with a calm, clear mind (and some extra energy)!

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.

For Exonerees, life’s little legal challenges can be huge

Exonerees face many challenges as they rebuild their lives after a wrongful conviction. One of the things that takes a backseat, as they struggle to access essentials like a place to live, medical care, and work, is thinking about how they will be cared for if they get sick.

Sometimes, it takes a (small) army

Terry Wanzer fought for more than 20 years to have his record cleared, even though he was exonerated in 1996. Our friend and volunteer Carrie is working to stop injustices like this.

How to Avoid Toxicity

At a time when it seems so many people in the world are expressing so much anger and hatred, how do you maintain your balance? Watch my latest video and share with us on social media!

About Our Wish List Program

One of our most impactful programs that arose during, and because of, the Covid-19 pandemic is the Wish List program. Through this, people who want to help an Exoneree directly can do so.

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.

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