April 2019 Newsletter

Apr 10, 2019 | Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,

Even the cows know the grass is always greener at the Sunny Center. 

Spring is here and we are inspired to feel hope, inspired by all the daffodil blossoms and primroses that grow everywhere here. We at the Sunny Center see them as sunny petals of optimism that longer, warmer days are coming.
We hope our Sunny Center friends and supporters around the globe are also feeling that flutter of quickening of the heart knowing that, in spite of whatever is going on in the world, the seasons come and the seasons go and we are still fighting the good fight to bring just a bit more peace, love and justice into this world.
Happy Spring to you all!!! 


Who said people in Argentina haven’t heard of the Sunny Center?

We are making preparations for our next exoneree guests. For many exonerees, the process of obtaining IDs, passports and VISAs are an exhaustive procedure that require time and commitment. We looking forward to their arrival.
We also had a crew of student documentary filmmakers from the National Film School of Ireland in Dun Laoghaire come to film for their project documenting the work we do and our daily lives at the Sunny Center. It will be screened on May 30th at the IADT Film School in Dun Laoghaire at noon. 
The Pinellas Public Defenders office hosted a fundraiser for our Sunny Center Community residence in Tampa to raise the necessary donations to purchase a washer and dryer and a shed for residents – improvements which will, no doubt, delight them!

We also had visitors from Argentina, healers Luci and Cristina, who told us that even people there have heard about the Sunny Center!


Peter Kilmartin is our newest volunteer-in-training. 

One of the student documentary filmmakers was so inspired by the mission of the Sunny Center, he’s decided to become a volunteer! He returned from Dublin to shoot some more B-roll film and also to learn about taking care of the animals!

We are also looking forward to the return to our veteran volunteer Tress who has offered to come back a fourth time to help keep things running smoothly here!


Easter was born on Easter and as Easter approaches, she had a kid of her own in her new home. 
Our rehomed goats on Inis Mór #GoatLife #IslandViews

We are so happy to hear that our goats that were rehomed to Inis Mór are thriving and have happily settled into #goatlife and #islandviews. And as Easter approaches, Easter, who was named after the holiday she was born on, has given birth to a new kid, herself! 


Sunny and Peter speaking to East Stroudsburg social work students at NUI Galway. 
Innocence Project of Iowa Founder Brian Farrell and Sunny Center Coordinator Anne Driscoll with social work students at NUI Galway. 

We spoke to a delegation of graduate social work students visiting from East Strousburg University under the guidance of our friend Dr. Lloyd Lyter, who directs the social work program there. The last stop on their trip around Ireland was NUI Galway where Sunny and Peter shared their thoughts on the challenges exonerees face in transitioning to life on the outside and how social workers might assist them. The Sunny Center coordinator Anne Driscoll also shared her perspective as she is both a licensed certified social worker in Massachusetts and has worked with exonerees while investigating their wrongful conviction cases since 2006. Students also heard talks by Dr. Brian Farrell, who teaches law at the University of Iowa and founded the Innocence Project of Iowa, and Professor Caroline McGregor, who is director of the social work program at NUI Galway.
It has long been our hope to engage social work programs at colleges and universities across the country to assist exonerees in meeting the many challenges they face post release.  And we hope to promote that goal with the Innocence Network at the annual conference in Atlanta. 


From Argentina to Atlanta, our Sunny Center family grows around the world. And we are also delighted that our global network of friends and supporters continues to grow far and wide!
Thank you for being among our treasured supporters. And we hope that if you believe in our mission and have faith in us, you will consider making a donation to the Sunny Center today. We will be eternally grateful.

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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