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!!! 

OUR EXONEREE GUESTS AND VISITORS

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!


OUR VOLUNTEERS 

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!


OUR FURRY AND FEATHERED FRIENDS

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! 


OUR ACTIVISM 

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. 


STAY CONNECTED 

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 

A new goal for the new year

The end of the old year and the beginning of the new are both busy times, filled with the sharing of gifts with family and friends. And that's why I want to send a personal thank you to all of those who took the time to include us in the sharing of gifts during this...

Remembering Peter

My dear Peter is gone.
We sang him home on the last day of the year, gathered around his bedside as we had done for so many days before.

‘Send them green.’ A special message from a Sunny Center supporter!

“I had the wonderful opportunity to be a guest at the Sunny Center this past July. My first trip to Ireland, it always is a magical moment to visit friends who live overseas…”

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.

Even in summer, the work doesn’t stop

We’re in midsummer now, with its long days that stretch until 11 in the evening here in Ireland. It’s a busy time for everyone and everything.

The power of art to heal and renew

Did you know that Peter was a woodworker and an artist? He created so many things. But more importantly, he taught those skills to other Exonerees when they visited the Center.

Looking for green shoots

Photo by Samantha Bookman. Peter and I chose to situate the Sunny Healing Center here in this beautiful location in the west of Ireland. A newcomer may at first see only a barren, rocky, windswept landscape. But, put your hand on the earth here, and you can feel the...

A message from Sunny about Peter

The time has come to say farewell to our dear Peter, who is in the process of transitioning from this body and this plane.

Finding Peace, Joy and Hope

The events in Ukraine over the past several days have been ever-present in all of our lives through the daily news and constant social media. These times can be especially difficult for Exonerees because of the traumas they are working to overcome.

Love Is Always the Answer

Winter is always a little bit quieter than the rest of the year. After a long day spent maintaining the Sunny Healing Center and getting it ready for visitors, it’s time for us to cuddle up with the kittens and, of course, Barney, on chilly winter evenings with a warm fire in the hearth.

A Happy, Healthy and Healing New Year to All

Love has no barriers and no limits. And neither does our gratitude for your continuing support and friendship. Know that you are never alone, because you are part of our family.