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 

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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