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 

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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