January 2020 Newsletter

Jan 14, 2020 | News, Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,

We wish you a Peaceful New Year! 

It’s 2020 and we can barely believe it! Since our dream of offering a sanctuary of healing and hope to exonerees was launched five years ago, we have attempted to assist scores of wrongly-convicted men and women from around the globe. It has been deeply satisfying work which has brought us to where we are today – on the dawn of a new decade. 

Our exoneree guests cross our threshold with the burden of a wrongful conviction, but we hope they leave with lighter hearts. It is the magic that happens when ones’ darkest experience is validated and acknowledged by another with open arms and an accepting mind.

The nights may still be dark and long in Connemara, but we see the stretch of spring and hope ahead. 2019 brought many challenges but we believe 2020 is the harbinger of better days to come. 
Please be part of our efforts to create a more just, more peaceful world. Let 2020 be the year in which we are all better off. Help us help others. Consider making a donation today. And especially consider making a recurring donation as it 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 to connect with others or $30 per month can help cover an electric bill. 

Thanks so much. We are deeply grateful for your kindness. 


Our friend and founder of the Innocence Project of Iowa Brian Farrell is coming.

This month we are hoping to welcome our first exoneree family! We are so happy to be able to share our home with this deserving family who has suffered the deep pains of a wrongful conviction. We are also expecting two brothers who are looking forward to their visit to the Sunny Center!  We are so glad to be adding these families to our Sunny Center family! And our old friend Brian Farrell, who founded the Innocence Project of Iowa, is due to visit today! 

 Our outreach coordinator Dorothy, supporters Joanne and Larry Golden and exoneree resident Danny.
Our exoneree resident Clemente, Dorothy, Joanne and Danny.
Danny is home sweet home. 

We also had a visit in Florida of our dear friends and supporters, lawyer Larry Golden and his wife Joanne. They met two of our exoneree residents Clemente and Danny and spent time with our outreach coordinator Dorothy. It was a lovely afternoon! 


Sunny and our volunteer Caitriona.
Believe it or not, we are still unpacking some last boxes and putting the final touches on organizing our home so it is the most warm and welcoming place we might offer to our guests and visitors. And we have had help! Our volunteer Caitriona has been so dedicated in assisting the Sunny Center and has been a really huge help to us! Pictured above is Caitriona holding a reindeer a child once made for Sunny that we came across in our unpacking boxes!

Caitriona got involved with the Sunny Center after meeting Sunny as a child through Caitriona’s mom. Her mom was a yoga student of Sunny’s and Sunny went to Caitriona’s mom for reflexology. Now, an adult who works in TV and film production, Caitriona has maintained a connection as a volunteer at the Sunny Center. “It’s so nice. It’s like a continuing with the next generation,” says Sunny. 


Biscuit time. 

One of the ways we hope to connect with our guests is through our furry and feathered friends. Our pets offer unconditional love and acceptance to our visitors and that is such a meaningful path to recovery. We are grateful to our animals for their most dedicated service.


Peter looking ahead to 2020. 

We are expecting that 2020 will be a very active year for us in terms of our activism! We have been busy identifying our goals and strategies for reaching them and we look forward to sharing what we hope will be many more successes in the coming year. 


This is what hope looks like. 
We are never more than a Facebook message, tweet, text or Skype call away and we sincerely hope you will stay in touch. We love hearing from you! And please, when you are considering how to spend your donor dollars, consider making a gift – and especially a recurring gift – to the Sunny Center. We know your gifts are precious and we promise to spend your donations wisely.
Thank you for your ongoing support and love! 

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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