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 

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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