April 2018 Newsletter

Apr 11, 2018 | Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,
Photo courtesy of Angela Gay Byrne

Happy Spring!
Easter has come and gone. The daffodils have raised their sunny heads. And the warmer temperatures raise our hopes for longer stretches of days.
As 2018 unfolds and the work of the Sunny Center continues, we are reminded of our many friends and supporters around the world that make our work possible. We remain so very grateful for your help, without which, the suffering and injustice of exonerees would continue as they are not be able find the help and healing needed in order to transition to a happy, productive life of freedom on the outside.



From left to right, our new Exoneree Support Coordinator Dorothy, exoneree Tyrone, Sunny, Peter, exoneree Jimmy, Lloyd and Anne outside the Lorraine Motel. 

We are completing our roster of upcoming guests who will enjoy respite and renewal at the Sunny Center in the months ahead. There was enormous interest on the part of many exonerees we met at the annual Innocence Network conference in March.
We also want to formally announce our new Exoneree Support Coordinator, Dorothy, who is providing on site support to our growing family of new and former guests. We are pleased to expand our reach to the many exonerees in need of continued support. 


We will be welcoming our new volunteers from around the world beginning next month. This month we have local volunteers coming in to help us with the garden and getting the house ready for our guests. Spring is always a busy time of year at the Sunny Center!
Our corps of volunteers has been a great gift to us and we are grateful to each and every one of them for giving up at least a month of their time to help the Sunny Center to flourish and grow.
Our volunteers become part of our family and, in many cases, lasting friendships are developed between volunteers and guests. We encourage anyone who can TO VOLUNTEER! You can do so on our website


Petal and newborn Cásca and Císean. 

Petal’s twins arrived on Good Friday, also the first night of Passover. So we named them, in Irish, Cásca and Císean, Easter and Passover. Rosie, our Nubian goat, had a single kid born on Sunday and named Easter. All are doing well! Here’s a video link.
Unfortunately for us, our last hen was taken by the fox while we were at the conference in Memphis. Good news for the fox and her babies though! It is springtime after all, the time for babies to be born! Peter has cleaned out the henhouse so we will be ready for more hens next month.


Sunny and Peter outside the Lorraine Motel where MLK was murdered. 
Sunny and Peter, along with Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Christopher, march with Innocence Network conference attendees in Memphis to Lorraine Motel. 

We went to Memphis for the annual Innocence Network conference and accomplished so much in two days! We worked with our colleague Dr. Lloyd Lyter to establish a network of social work programs to assist in supporting exonerees, connected with many new and old exonerees, and participated in many important and meaningful sessions, including one presented by the children of exonerees. It was the largest Innocence Network conference, with the most exonerees, the most exoneree family members and the most fellow travellers. It is getting to be a very big tent!
Especially poignant was the fact that the conference was taking place in Memphis almost exactly 50 years to the day when Martin Luther King was assassinated there. The conference attendees took part in a march to the motel where MLK’s life ended, but his spirit undoubtedly lives on. The closing party was held in the Civil Rights Museum built there. And the Exoneree Band played in his honor. 

Please know that this newsletter helps us feel connected to you all and we welcome your emails, texts, and donations. 

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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