February 2018 Newsletter

Feb 23, 2018 | Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,

In Ireland, Spring arrives on February 1st, which is also observed as St. Brigid’s day. St. Brigid is one of Ireland’s three patron saints, along with St. Patrick and St. Columba but she shares her name with an important Celtic goddess, as well. She was said to have been born into slavery in 451 AD but was eventually pardoned by the king after recognizing her holiness and she then devoted her life to healing others.
That story of false imprisonment and the desire for freedom resonates for us and for the many exonerees we work with. We rely on your support to help us heal others and we do hope you will consider offering a donation to the Sunny Center.



We had a visit from our friend Donald, who played the part of an exoneree in our production of The Exonerated. He enjoyed meeting our menagerie and taking walks and promised to come back whenever we need a volunteer helper. 

At the end of this month, We will be hosting a visitor from Sweden who works with Amnesty International and is very interested in our work. 


Tress enjoying the beauty of the Sunny Center.

Our special volunteer Tress returned for another month! She knows all our animals and our routines and is a happy member of the Sunny Center family.


A hen party. 

As the weather begins to warm and the sky begins to brighten, our hens are enjoying the change in seasons. Our happy hens have been giving us eggs all winter. 



NUIG Irish Centre for Human Rights
We went to the Irish Centre for Human Rights at National University of Ireland at Galway to hear our friend Brian O’Farrell, co-founder of the Innocence Project of Iowa, speak about the forensic science of wrongful convictions. We also shared our experience and perspectives, as well. 
 Sunny and friends from Afri. 

On February 3rd, we also took part in Féile Bríde 2018: Light out of Darkness organized by Afri: Action from Ireland. We shared our stories as a way to illuminate the journey of light out of darkness.

Sunny and Peter plant a tree in honor of Féile Bríd or St. Brigid’s Day. 

We have initiated a new pilot project and taken on a new member of our team! This month we began our Outreach Program. We will be happy to introduce our new Exoneree Support Coordinator at the Innocence Projects Conference in March! Stay tuned!!


We want you to know how important you all are to us. It’s through your support that recently we’ve been able to host those who have suffered injustice at the Sunny Center, send money to an exoneree to cover his phone bill and arrange for an on-the-ground support in helping another Exoneree transition from an unsustainable position. With your help, we are able to grow and extend our support to so many more in much more lasting ways. It’s difficult to continue to heal the soul when the body is hungry. Many of our clients live in extreme poverty and have no hope for anything better in the future. Now we can offer the kind of help through our healing program that will create an atmosphere in which a person can continue to recover and begin to enjoy their new freedom.
Thank you and may the blessings of Spring fill your heart with the promise of the months to come. 

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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