March 2018 Newsletter

Mar 20, 2018 | Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We wish great blessings and good fortune to all from our cozy corner in Connemara. In spite of a surprise snow, Spring is coming to life here, so it is a time when we give rise to hopes of rebirth and renewal. Let us all have hope for Peace and Joy in the world.
 
At the age of 16, St. Patrick was captured in Roman Britain by a group of Irish pirates and brought back to Ireland as a slave, unjustly imprisoned. Even after his escape, there’s evidence that he was unfairly persecuted and unjustly charged with criminal offenses. 
 
We hope that people will consider honoring St. Patrick’s Day with a gift to the Sunny Center. Every donation counts, especially at the moment as our bank account is dangerously low. We thank you in advance for your care, compassion and generosity!
 
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 help, healing and transition to a fulfilling life. 

OUR GUESTS AND VISITORS

Liza, our visitor from Sweden enjoys the Connemara landscape.

We had a visitor from Sweden who enjoyed taking walks with the dogs, roaming the Irish countryside and chats by the fire. 
 
We also hosted visitors who have been struggling with their sense of well being and, hopefully, offered them a bit of respite care. 
 
We provide ongoing support to exonerees by phone or Skype. It is very much a challenge for exonerees to manage their transition to freedom, especially in the face of family or societal demands. There is a strange inequity in the system that excludes exonerees from receiving the same benefits as any other prisoners when they are released. This is something we are working to change.


OUR VOLUNTEERS 

Tress meditating with one of our pups.

We bid farewell to our lovely volunteer Tress, but she has promised to return this summer to help out for an extended stay. We look forward to her cheery disposition and can do attitude. She has been a lovely addition to the Sunny Center family. Barney says meditation is not the same without her!


OUR FURRY AND FEATHERED FRIENDS 

The goats explore snow-covered terrain. 

Thanks to the so-called Beast from the East, the artic blast from Siberia, the goats got a chance to roam the hillsides through fields of snow, something none of them had experienced before. 


OUR ACTIVISM 

Sunny and Peter help train lawyers working for Amicus to stop death penalty cases in the US.
 
We went to London and appeared on the Jo Good radio show on BBC UK. We also helped train lawyers to work on death penalty cases in the US for Amicus.
 
We are campaigning for Exonerees to have the same rights to services as other people who are released from prison. This will have to be done state-by-state. If you have any influence in this area, please let us know!

Here’s a little video of Sunny giving a talk in a prison in Ireland where the death-penalty used to be carried out. Is now a tourist attraction.

STAY CONNECTED 

We want you to know how important you all are to us. It’s through your continued support that we are able to host a visit at the Sunny Center for those who have suffered injustice, send money to an exoneree to cover his phone bill and arrange for an on-the-ground support person to meet with exonerees and help them get their lives on track. Meeting the needs of those who have experienced such profound loss is incredibly important and so are all of you who donate so that we can heal those who have been hurt so much by injustice. 

From our home to yours, we send healing thoughts of love and hope!!! 
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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