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 

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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