July Newsletter 2019

Jul 16, 2019 | Uncategorized

​Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,

Last month we talked about how friendship begins at home, but it’s important to note that peace begins at home too and we are thrilled to announce that the Sunny Center now has a permanent home. Our friends, family and supporters saw the need and came to our aid with an outpouring of love. First, a Crowdrise campaign was launched with the assistance of the Irish Innocence Project at Griffith College and donors responded quickly.  Anonymous donors privately gifted us with large donations from the US and the UK. This kindness and generosity made the purchase of a home possible and we are feeling a deep sense of gratitude and peace! We aren’t moving far, as our new home is only down the road. But for us, it is a huge step and significant milestone! We now have a stable, secure and permanent home from which we can do our work and most importantly, open our new front door to exonerees in need of healing, help, support, care, recovery and respite
Our work will continue and we hope to continue to count on you to help us meet the costs of operating the Sunny Center, hosting our guests, and continuing our activisim. Through your giving, we honor the show of confidence that our large donors have expressed In our work and our mission to provide help and healing to Exonerees. We believe it is important and significant work and we hope you agree and contribute in whatever way you can. 
Please consider making a donation today. It’s as easy as a click of the button below. And please especially consider a recurring donation – no donation is too small, especially recurring donations. Being able to count on five dollars a month is a blessing! $10 a month is a double blessing! Remember, many hands make for light work. 

And one other way you can make an impact and make your dollars support the Sunny Center is by shopping at Amazon! Through the Amazon Smiles program, a portion of what you spend on shopping will be directed to the Sunny Center simply by using this link. And today and tomorrow are Amazon Prime Days!!!
Thank you, dear friends, for your steady support. We are over the moon that our dreams have been realized and we have a home to call our own, but a home that is open to those many others seeking peace of mind, too. 


OUR EXONEREE GUESTS AND VISITORS

Two new exoneree friends we met in Italy. 

Now that we will be transitioning from our rented home to a permanent one, we can finalize our upcoming exoneree guests calendar. If you are exoneree, you can apply here
In the meantime, we are still reaching out to exonerees all over the world, both personally and virtually, to offer support and healing.  Our commitment is to continue to do our work and welcome exonerees to the Sunny Center. 

OUR VOLUNTEERS 

Picture


Peter and Sunny with volunteers Peter and Cian.

We are thrilled that the Sunny Center will remain in the area where we have been living so the beauty, quiet and views will be similar. 
We have been lining up volunteers, including Peter and Cian, pictured above, to clean the old house, prepare the new house and help box up and move things down the road to our new home. We are deeply grateful for their help. 


OUR FURRY AND FEATHERED FRIENDS

Our furry and feathered friends are enjoying the long stretch of summer days and relatively short nights. And we expect that everyone will be settling into their new digs quite nicely. 

The donkeys have moved into the shed where the goats used to live. And they enjoy their evening carrots and apples.
 


OUR ACTIVISM 

Sunny and her Italian translator Antonella Roetto.
Sunny and exonerate Amanda Knox who translated for her, along with California Innocence Project founder Justin Brooks. 
Peter and Italian exoneree Angelo Massaro.

We had an amazingly productive time at the Injustice Fest hosted by the Italy Innocence Project, where Peter and an Italian exoneree co-presented and Sunny discussed the death penalty and got help with translation from Amanda, another US Exoneree who attended the conference in Italy. Renowned innocence activists traveled from America, – including Justin Brooks, founder of the California Innocence Project, Ohio Innocence Project Director, Mark Godsey, and the Florida Innocence Project director, Seth Miller – to meet with other international projects. 

We also bartered services with Lucio Russo of Miraggio Dilux photos. He wanted a copy of Sunny’s book Stolen Time and in exchange offered to take photos of Sunny and Peter at the conference.

NowThis News, specifically designed to be shared on social media, and which has an audience comprised of 68% millenials between the ages of 18 and 34, did an 11minute video doc on our work in Florida and Ireland, entitled How “These Tiny Homes Are Giving Exonerated Prisoners New Lives,” which has 73K views on YouTube. Check it out for yourselves here. We find it very moving. 

And, last week, Sunny and Peter did an hour-long interview for the Emma Barnett Show on the BBC5 radio discussing their work. We will let you know when the episode becomes available.


STAY CONNECTED 

Our new and permanent home! You can see our old home down the road.

We are so incredibly grateful that our network of friends, near and far, have extended their support in such significant and profound ways. We look forward to settling into our new home and sharing that home with exoneree guests from around the globe. Thank you for your part in that significant development at the Sunny Center. 

To all of you who have so generously offered donations, large and small, we thank you for being among our treasured supporters. And, we hope that you will continue to believe in our mission, and have faith in us. To all of our supporters who have not yet made a donation, we hope you will consider making a donation to the Sunny Center today. This is a crucial year for us and our work. We are going to begin to train others to do what we do. Please consider giving, even two dollars or five dollars on a recurring basis.  We will be eternally grateful.

There is still so much to be done! And we can only accomplish this because of You – our community, family and friends. 

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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