July 2018 Newsletter

Jul 17, 2018 | Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,

Rosie and Easter sunbathing.

We live in a country that is famous for its rain and scarcely knows how to behave when there are endless days of sun and warm temperatures, such as we’ve had this past month. Summer has arrived and she has been glorious! And we have welcomed her with open arms.
This past month the Sunny Center has had new exoneree guests, visiting board members and returning volunteers arrive at our doorstep and we have been happy to share our home with them all. 
We are grateful every day that we are able to offer this healing place to all who cross our threshold. And, with 2,245 exonerees in the US alone, we believe that the Sunny Center has never been more necessary. But, we can’t do it alone. As our first female exoneree guest Ina says, “The conversations with Sunny and Peter have ensured that I never felt lonely again.” Help us help people like Ina and please consider giving to the Sunny Center and we promise to put your gift to very good use. We thank you.


Sunny and Ina hugging. 

This month has been an exceptionally busy month. We said goodbye to our first female guest Ina, who traveled from Holland to stay with us. She wrote us soon after her return, saying, “Sunny and Peter it was an example to see how positive you are in life that I also wanted to realize that I had lost it in my struggle. The 14 days in Ireland helped me tremendously. That I felt so good is very nice, but that it is also noticed by other people in my area that the change is very nice to hear. It is a confirmation that my visit to Ireland, to Sunny and Peter has brought me a lot of good things. Thank you Sunny, Peter.”

Mike, a local friend, and Robert fix a gate.
We also welcomed our exoneree guest Robert, wrongly convicted at age 19, whose daughter was only 6 months old when he was arrested and would be 23 when he was exonerated and released a year ago. He enjoyed his first trip abroad and hopes to do more traveling in the future. Robert adapted well to a very different life than the one he lives in Chicago – with fixing gates, milking goats, feeding chickens and walking the dogs along the rural trails of Ireland. We are happy to have been able to offer a respite of healing and a different perspective on his journey. He also went to see the ocean for the first time!
The first Sunny Center board meeting in Ireland at our kitchen table. 

We also welcomed three members of our board of directors, Eva, Yoel and Max, and held a meeting in Ireland around our kitchen table. We think it’s been helpful for the board to see the Sunny Center in action and experience firsthand what this sanctuary offers people who have suffered the worst injustice imaginable.

Sunny, Tress and Peter milking the goat. 

We welcomed back our tried and true volunteer Tress for her third volunteer stay here. She is an able, caring and resourceful member of the Sunny Center family. We treasure her and all the compassion she brings to the Center. 


Millie might be melting.
With so many visitors coming and going, the goats, chickens, cats and dogs have gotten lots of extra attention this month. And with the sunny days and hot temperatures, we have been taking extra care to make sure there’s always plenty of water available! Keeping our furry and feathered friends cool has been a challenge. 


In the upcoming months, our calendar is filled with speaking engagements and special events around the world. We are thrilled to be able to share a message of hope in the face of injustice.

A new video of the Sunny Center was created by Christian Scheider, the actor, director and activist son of Roy Scheider, and Nina Channing, Stockard Channing’s daughter. We are so grateful that they offered to create this lovely video highlighting our work here at the Sunny Center! https://youtu.be/uCPb7qoZzdg


A Sunny Center sunset. 

“What does justice mean to you?” We recently asked our Facebook friends this question. One of our FB followers Sandrine said, “Justice means everything in this world.” We couldn’t agree more. If you’d like to share what justice means to you, please send your response to thesunnycenterfoundation@gmail.com. There are many other ways we can stay in touch – reading this newsletter, following us on Facebook and Twitter, checking out our website and sending us emails. We love interacting with our supporters.
Of course, the other way to stay in touch and support us is in making a donation, which we will happily and gratefully receive. A small recurring donation would be a blessing to us.

Thanks for being there for the Sunny Center and for caring about us and the work we do.
Enjoy these warm, sunny and happy days!
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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