August Newsletter

Aug 15, 2017 | Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,
Trixie, one of the resident cats here at the Sunny Center, is happy to share all of our good news with you this month!
 
We have been enjoying visitors to our home as well as our own travels to America and back again. As we continue to connect with so many humanitarians and human rights activists wherever we go around the globe, we are reminded that this world is full of good people who believe in justice. We count you among them and we are very grateful for  your continued support for the work we do and the exonerees whom we serve. 

OUR GUESTS AND VISITORS

We hosted a group of teenagers and staff from the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services who were curious as to how Sunny and Peter could be happy after all they have been through and wanted to come see the Sunny Center for themselves. We hope they left with a greater understanding of the power of the mind, heart and human spirit. 
Jason and Amy.

Amy, a former volunteer and now a board member, has been interning with an innocence project during her summer vacation from law school, and paid a visit to Jason, one of our family of Exonerees. They became friends at the Sunny Center and are maintaining the bonds of family and friendship that began here. We are so proud of them both!
 
Jason is studying and interning at a local TV studio and plans to make documentary films. He is a role model for others to follow.
 
Uriah, who came here two years ago, is finishing an apprenticeship as a pipe fitter and has a new wife and family. They were married last year. Uriah is another role model.
 
Ron has successfully faced down lung cancer and celebrated his birthday this past week.
 
Joseph was able to get his own apartment after five years living in a group home. With the help of a special donor, we were able to provide Joseph with an air conditioner and are also helping another exoneree to relocate to a more permanent, secure location where he can have the possibility of a decent future.
 
We celebrate these family members and their continued growth and success and happiness!!!

Sadly, too many in our Exoneree family live in loneliness and poverty.  We are trying to remedy that, presently, one at a time. In the future, we hope to be able to provide a better start to our Exoneree members with the help of social workers who want to be part of the healing and recovery process. With Dr. Lloyd Lyter, from Pennsylvania, at the forefront of these efforts, and our coordinator, Anne, and her social work background and connections, we have plans to do this on a larger scale in the future.
 
This month we look forward to welcoming our first Exoneree couple! Many of our younger Exonerees have established loving relationships, and we look forward to hosting them and their partners in our home. 


OUR VOLUNTEERS 

Georgie gets comfortable with our furry friends.

Our volunteer, Georgie, has fit right into our happy little home, particularly with the furry friends who live with us.  The dogs, and even the cats, have enjoyed their walks with Georgie up on the hills, although, sometimes they have to take an alternate route to avoid the neighbourhood cows and their calves. When it rains, all cuddle up on the sofa together.

Apples growing on our older trees.

Georgie and Peter transplanted the two apple trees that were given to us by a volunteer, moving them to a permanent position. And we have some lovely apples on one of our older trees!
 
The cabbage and kale are all proliferating as are the herbs in the raised bed outside. And the roses are blossoming profusely. These are happy times at the Sunny Center!!!


OUR ACTIVISM 

Sunny, Peter and Anne at an event commemorating the 325th anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials.

This was a very active month of activism for us! We traveled to Salem, Massachusetts to help commemorate the 325th anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials. Salem State University hosted a special screening of  “The Exonerated” film, followed by a conversation between Sunny, Peter and Anne Driscoll and then a Q&A with the audience. While in Salem, we also met up with members of the Salem State University social work faculty and our friend Dr. Lloyd Lyter, who is director of the MSW program at East Stroudsberg University in Pennsylvania, to discuss partnering social work programs with exonerees in order to provide support services to ease their post-release transition.
 
We have yet to reach our goal in order to put on a performance of the play the “Exonerated” as a fundraiser for the Sunny Center in November.  We still need to raise more funds. Every little bit helps! 

DONATE HERE


OUR FURRY FRIENDS

Mama Rosie and Jack and Jill.

This past month, we saw the birth of three new kids!!! Louie was born to Lama, and twins Jack and Jill were born to Rosie. They are all thriving and bring great joy to us as they jump and play together. Peter has also built a special pathway to make it easier for Sunny to get down to the goats. She is socialising them and teaching them their names, while Peter and Georgie milk their mamas. And, while all that is going on, our hens have taken to laying eggs in the goat house!


STAY CONNECTED 

As always, we are very grateful and mindful of the caring and kindness of friends and strangers that make the work we do possible. Thank you for your support and, if would like to make a gift to the Sunny Center, please press the link below to donate. 

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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