August 2018 Newsletter

Aug 10, 2018 | Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,

Our summer vista. 

We are aware that this year is quickly unfolding and September is around the corner. When we look back at 2018 so far, we are pleased that we have accomplished far more than we had ever expected. For example, this year, we have already had four exoneree guests – one of whom was our first female exoneree – from three countries, and we are expecting at least four more in the final remaining months of 2018. And keep an eye out for the newsletter next month, as we will have a special announcement!

Of course, we are well aware that none of this would be possible were it not for your ongoing support. We are so grateful that you believe in the Sunny Center and its mission and are willing to give generously to make sure we can continue to offer a healing sanctuary to those who need it most.

Time is passing. So, all we have is the moment, right now. This very second. And we should all make the most of the present, supporting the causes we believe in and the people we know have suffered.
Thank you, our good, kind readers and friends. 


OUR EXONEREE GUESTS AND VISITORS

Our exoneree guest Robert enjoying an Irish summer delight.
 

We have enjoyed an amazing summer, which has been busy with guests and visitors arriving at our Connemara cottage. We said goodbye to Robert, who left our home but not our hearts after a restorative stay that included sampling his first 99 Flake ice cream!

We also welcomed an exoneree from Taiwan, who arrived with a translator and seemed to adjust very quickly to his Irish welcoming. Our local friends have decided to call him Liam. Through the translator, he has told us that he has found peace here. Even though Liam doesn’t speak the same language, we found connection nonetheless. One day he went up the mountain with Peter and our helper Mike to work on the water system and there was no language barrier. It was simply three men at work. There was great bonding and it turned out to be a very successful day.

We also had a photographer come from France to take portrait photos of Peter and Sunny as part of an initiative to take as many photos as possible of people wrongly convicted, sentenced to death and later exonerated. This collection of portraits will exhibited in Brussels at the EU headquarter in February of 2019. All the photos were taken of the subject against a black background making eye contact with the viewer.


OUR VOLUNTEERS 

Tress and her donkey friend.  

We said “Slán” to our volunteer Tress who helped us out taking care of the goats, walking the dogs, and watering our many plants, among other things. She has been an invaluable volunteer and is planning to return for a fourth time later this year!


OUR FURRY AND FEATHERED FRIENDS

Morning procession.
 
We may have the most photogenic herd of goats. We have found that whenever we post photos or videos of them, they practically go viral! Although, the donkeys Rodge and Paudge are also pretty popular. Come to think of it, all our furry and feathered friends seem to have a following! All are well and have been enjoying the sun and warmth of summer. 

OUR ACTIVISM 

Front row, left to right, Marla, Peter and Sunny, along with students at Oxford.

This past month, we went to Dublin to meet up with our old friend Steve Earle, the renowned musician and mutual friend who first nudged us to meet 20 years ago. Then we journeyed to Oxford, England where we met up with Marla Mitchell-Cichon, who teaches law at Cooley Law School and arranged for our visit to Oxford University to talk about our experiences and the Sunny Center with students there. We were very well received and Marla and the Sunny Center hope to collaborate in the future in a number of productive ways. 


Sunny smiles on Sunny and Peter.

Last month we asked our newsletter readers, “What does justice mean to you?” and our favorite answer was from Marylla who said, “John Paul II said, ‘There is no peace without justice.’  This month we are wondering, “When do you feel most free?” Please send us your thoughts about this to thesunnycenterfoundation@gmail.com and we will share in next month’s newsletter. We love hearing from you!
 
But even if you don’t have a response to this month’s question, we do hope you will stay in touch in other ways –reading this newsletter, following us on Facebook and Twitter, checking out our website and sending us emails. We want you to feel part of the Sunny Center family, too. One other very direct way to feel part of the Sunny Center is by making a donation, large, small or in between. We are so grateful! 
 
So in these waning days of summer, enjoy the present. Every. Single. Moment.
 
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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