Giving Tuesday Newsletter 2019

Nov 25, 2019 | Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,

Peter and his grandchildren enjoy getting together. 

Many of us think of Thanksgiving as the holiday of sharing and generosity. We gather with friends and loved ones, share our bounty and offer our gratitude. But there is a new observance that could embody even more generosity and expressions of sharing and that is one of our newest and most welcome traditions – Giving Tuesday. The concept might have sprung from the celebration of American Thanksgiving but it has spread around the world as a global day of giving.  Buoyed by the power of social media and the spirit of giving as we head into the upcoming holiday season, it is a powerful force for good.
We are, therefore, reaching out to all our friends and supporters in the US and around the world to connect on the Giving Tuesday which is tomorrow! And we would invite you all to remember us on this most generous day of all days. Please consider this Giving Tuesday with the gift that keeps on giving – a recurring donation! Any amount will be the financial foundation upon which the Sunny Center rests, secure in the knowledge that we have that ongoing support. Even a monthly donation of as little as $5 per month will help us continue to provide the help and healing to exonerees all over the world. 


Peter and Ina, an exoneree from Holland, are applauded at the closing of the European Innocence Network Conference. 

At a time of thanks, we are so grateful to be part of a global network of exonerees. Just this past month at the European Innocence Network Conference in Amsterdam, we reconnected with our former exoneree guest Ina. We were thrilled to see her smiling and thriving. And our reunion with Ina reminded us of all the exonerees we have connected with over the years, many of whom we have personally hosted in our home. It is our deepest wish that our own experience overcoming the trauma and pain of a wrongful conviction can offer hope to others who have suffered a similar tragedy. We look forward to all the other exonerees who will cross our threshold and be welcomed in.  


Peter and our most frequent volunteer Tress.
We are always grateful for our financial supporters and their profound generosity. But one of the things we are equally as thankful for is the corps of volunteers that keep the Sunny Center running smoothly and efficiently. We, very simply, couldn’t do this work without them. This year, we have added a volunteer attorney Daniela, but we’ve also had an army of volunteers who helped us pack up and move quarters to the new home of the Sunny Center. They helped us box, clean, organize, transplant and resettle our animal friends. And sometimes our volunteers volunteer to recruit other volunteers, like this month when our volunteerTess found another volunteer to help us with some Excel sheets. We want to recognize their sizeable contributions to supporting the Sunny Center mission. 


Our neighbors enjoying the sunshine!

Whenever an exoneree guest arrives, it’s a delight to watch the relationships that grow between the guest and our family of furry and feathered friends. Sometimes they bond with one of the dogs, or one of the cats, or even one of the chickens. And the healing power in that cannot be overstated. Our furry and feathered friends are therapeutic for us and therapeutic for our guests and visitors. It is a powerful way to ground us to nature and to our most elemental selves. And for that, we offer our profound gratitude. 


Sunny and Peter at the European Innocence Network Conference.
Innocence activists hard at work.
Hard at work strategic planning for the future of the Innocence Movement.

In the past month, we attended the European Innocence Network Conference in Amsterdam, attended by more than a dozen innocence organizations including Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Romania, Poland, Malta, Spain, Britain, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany as well as China, Israel and projects in the US. Those in attendance met to devise plans to make a case to the United Nations that victims of wrongful convictions should be recognized as victims of torture and accorded the correspondent rights and responses, accordingly. It is heartening indeed to see that in four short years the European Innocence Network has grown so substantially and continues to evolve and thrive. As part of our activism this month, Sunny was also  featured on the Human Rights TV Channel as part of the International Observatory of Human Rights. You can find her interview here.


Our view.
Magical rainbow over the Sunny Center. 
On October 18, we observed the fifth anniversary of the Sunny Center which has grown in ways we are surprised and delighted by. This past month, we also observed the year anniversary of the exoneree community residence in Tampa, FL. Of course, we could not do any of this without the ongoing and significant support of you! It is only through the generosity, kindness and caring of our network of friends that we can achieve what we have this year. We humbly invite you to help us attain a more just, peaceful and loving world in which to live. 

Happy Giving Tuesday!
And stay in touch. We love hearing from you. 

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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