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.


OUR GUESTS AND VISITORS

Picture


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. 


OUR VOLUNTEERS 

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

OUR FURRY AND FEATHERED FRIENDS 

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.


OUR ACTIVISM 

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 

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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