March 2020 Newsletter

Mar 16, 2020 | News, Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today is the one day of the year when everyone is just a little bit Irish! 
It is that special time of the year to honor St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who, himself, experienced wrongful imprisonment. St. Patrick was captured in Roman Britain at age 16 by a group of Irish pirates and brought to Ireland as a slave. He was later unjustly charged with criminal offenses. So we feel a special place in our hearts for St. Patrick who was so unfairly persecuted and held against his will. Like many of our fellow exonerees, St. Patrick persisted and eventually obtained freedom.

So on this special day, it is our profound hope that you might consider honoring St. Patrick’s Day with a gift to the Sunny Center. Every donation counts, especially because our work is great and our bank account is low. We thank you in advance for your care, compassion and generosity!
 
So Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We wish you all the blessings and good wishes associated with the day!!!

OUR EXONEREE GUESTS AND VISITORS

Peter, Sunny and our exoneree guest Ina! 

Earlier this past month we had a return visit from our friend and fellow exoneree Ina from the Netherlands, who was our first female exoneree visitor. We were thrilled to reconnect with Ina and very much enjoyed our time together, spending some cozy hours chatting and catching up. Ina was busy knitting a gorgeous silk and mohair shawl during her visit and she generously gave it to Sunny before she left!

But as the Covid-19 virus has spread and we are all trying to do our part to prevent further infections through measures such as social distancing, we have decided to take our own public safety precautions. For the health and well-being of our guests, ourselves and the public, we are suspending visits until such time as this Covid-19 virus crisis has passed. And we look forward to the time when normalcy returns!!!

OUR VOLUNTEERS 

Our exoneree outreach coordinator Dorothy and our volunteer lawyer Daniela. 

We have volunteers of all types and we are truly and deeply grateful for them all. Some help Peter manage the fields. Others help us organize the house. Some offer reflexology or yoga for our clients. And some, like our volunteer Daniela in Florida, volunteers as a lawyer. We couldn’t do the work we do without them! And this past month, our volunteer Caitriona came to help organize bookshelves and get the sitting room ready for our next visitors. 

Do you have a skill or professional talent that you could offer to help the Sunny Center? If so, please do get in touch and let us know. We welcome your assistance!  


OUR FURRY AND FEATHERED FRIENDS

Who returned for a visit? 

This past month we had a surprise visit from the wild goats! We hadn’t seen them since before we moved to our current home. We sat and ate our dinner and watched them eating theirs from our window. It was wonderful!

The weather has been fierce this past month with several storms bringing wet and wild winds, but all our feathered and furry friends have managed to stay warm and cozy!


OUR ACTIVISM 

We were scheduled to meet in Dublin with law students from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania to teach them about wrongful convictions, however, the threat of Covid-19 upended those plans. We were also scheduled to travel to London to do training with Amicus where we’ve been meeting with anti-death penalty activist lawyers for a decade. Unfortunately, the law firm where the training was to take place was closed for two weeks, again due to the coronavirus. Instead the training was done by video link. “They save lives. They send young trainee lawyers to America to handle death penalty cases,” says Sunny. It is always inspiring to meet new aspiring activists who are committed to ensuring more justice in the world through their persistance and passion and we look forward to our next visit, whenever that might be. We also did a video presentation arranged by Amicus with sociology and philosophy undergraduate students at Surrey University. ​

STAY CONNECTED 

We believe in justice for all. We believe that everyone deserves hope. And wehope that everyone has access to peace of mind, too. The Sunny Center does all that it can to offer exonerees all of these things. But we need your help. 

Please consider a donatiotoday in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. We thank you for your support. And we hope you will stay in touch with us. We are so very grateful that you are part of our big, beautiful, loving network of supporters and friends. 

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank 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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