October 2019 Newsletter

Oct 16, 2019 | Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,

Our cat makes herself at home on the wall.

There is no place like home. – especially when that home is the Sunny Center! Our dream of offering a center of healing and hope for exonerees was realized five years ago when we opened our home to our very first guest, an exoneree who had served 26 years for a crime he did not commit. The Sunny Center was the only center of its kind then and still is the only place of its kind today. Since that very first guest, we have welcomed scores of exonerees into our home and into our heart. 

No person should be imprisoned for a crime he or she is innocent of. We know all too well the depth of the pain that that imprisonment causes. But please know, you are a key to unlocking that person from suffering. 

We and our exoneree guests and residents are reliant on your support and generosity to continue to offer some practical tools for healing and strategies for hope in the future. We have experienced firsthand how a body may be free, but a mind can still be imprisoned by trauma, resentment, hopelessness, isolation, anxiety and depression. 

Help us help others. Consider making a donation today. And a recurring donation is the kind of gift that keeps on giving. For example, a $50 per month recurring donation can cover the cost of a cell phone for an exoneree who needs that sort of lifeline to be able to connect with others. 
Thanks so much. We are deeply grateful for your kindness.


Keeping the light on for our visitors.

This past month, we did much outreach to exonerees in New Jersey, New York and in Ireland. It is such a satisfying aspect of our work, when we can share our experience, our hopes and dreams with others who have suffered the cruelest of confinements: being wrongly convicted. 


Our Support Coordinator Dorothy, Florida Innocence Project Director Seth  and our volunteer lawyer Daniela. 

Over the past month, we have been the recipients of many man (and woman) hours of help! Our newest volunteer lawyer Daniela is settling into her new role assisting the community residence in Florida. Our garden is in order as all of our plants have been transplanted from their former home down the road. New shelves are up and old sheds have been reorganized. With the help of our volunteer corps, we are feeling very settled in and ready for the changing seasons. 


Our furry friends enjoying the comforts of home – and the view!

There is a satisfying rhythm to our life in our new home. The dogs enjoy going out for their walks. The cats make independent use of their own cat door. The chickens roost, lay eggs and wait expectantly for feed time. Everyone seems to share the same sentiment, that there is no place like home, especially when that home is the Sunny Center. 


Sunny telling her Moth MainStage story. 
Sunny and psychologist Jessica Stevens at the Centurion Ministries Gala!
Peter promoting human rights at the Gala.
Sunny and Sunny Center Foundation board member Peter Tunney.

This has been a busy month of activism! Sunny’s story at a Moth Mainstage event was very well received in London and Sunny received a standing ovation. She blew them kisses in return! We traveled to New Jersey to collaborate with the Centurion Ministries – the oldest innocence organization in the world, having been founded in Princeton, New Jersey in 1983. We were the guest speakers at the Centurion Ministries Gala! And we met with our board in New York to discuss our strategic plans for the remainder of this year and the coming year of 2020. While we were stateside, we had the chance to promote our work among new friends and old supporters. 


Our friends and supporters are the heart of the Sunny Center family. The Edelman family with Sunny and Peter in New York. 

Our work is all about building community and making connections. We have been fortunate, indeed, to have woven a wide network of connections that are part of the Sunny Center community. And we want you to know we are so very glad that you are part of it. Our deepest thanks to you for your belief in us and in our mission. 

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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