June 2020 Newsletter: Love Is An Action Word

Jun 19, 2020 | News, Uncategorized

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,
This week, we completed the Love Bridge at The Sunny Healing Center! Peter constructed this bridge to make it easier for Sunny to move between the house and our garden.
 “Love is an action word.” Exoneree and Sunny Center U.S. community member Danny said this, and it resonates so strongly.

A month ago, it seemed that the world had paused. Then, people in the U.S. began to rise up and demand justice for George Floyd and other black Americans. Today, it seems the whole world is demonstrating, advocating for others in one voice. We are living in amazing times and experiencing things we never thought we would see.

Through it all, The Sunny Center has continued our mission to help others heal and rebuild their lives. We could not do it without your support. Thank you for your fervor and commitment to making the world a more equitable place, one life at a time. We are so grateful to you.

This month, we continued our work at The Sunny Center and beyond. We were special guests on two Zoom calls, which you can access below.

Your donations mean so much to us, especially at this time. Even a small amount goes a long way. Keep reading to learn about a new way of donating through the Amazon Shopping app.

Thank you for your continuing support of The Sunny Center!


OUR EXONEREE OUTREACH

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We cannot accept guests at this time due to the pandemic. Though we are still socially distancing, our work continues. We are helping exonerees who are having difficulty with this prolonged social isolation. Likewise, our staff at the Sunny Center Tampa community are helping residents during stay-at-home orders so they can get groceries, do their laundry, and take care of their medical needs. We’re continuing to help other exonerees around the U.S. and the world through this time.

We are looking forward to the time that our friends, family, guests and volunteers can visit again!

A group that works with exonerees in Taiwan is coordinating with us. We hope to host more exonerees from Taiwan, along with interpreters, when the pandemic eases.

We are helping our exonerees in Pakistan set up a Sunny Healing Center there. We are also trying to assist them to obtain medical treatment during the pandemic.



OUR VOLUNTEERS 

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Young Conall, one of our neighbors, helped with planting herbs in our new rock garden.

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Paul, one of our residents, made screen doors for the Tampa units and a lovely walkway for one of the houses.

PictureOur new social media coordinator Samantha is helping us continue our online outreach.

There are many volunteers behind the scenes who help daily with the operations of the Sunny Healing Center. The Sunny Center Community in Tampa is being maintained by our outreach coordinator Dorothy and the residents themselves.

While we cannot accept new volunteers for now due to the pandemic, our local volunteers who have delivered provisions and checked in on us at the Sunny Healing Center have been indispensable. THANK YOU!!! 

THANK YOU to everyone who has connected with us through social media! It has been inspiring to see friends and supporters from so many countries interacting with our posts on Facebook and Twitter.

Our biggest challenge is to find ways to reach out to and connect with those who are not technologically adept. We know the consequences of extreme isolation. Any exoneree who would like us to contact them or needs to connect with us, or anyone who knows an exoneree who needs help, please click here.


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On May 25, we were joined and introduced by Jason Flom for Eva Haller’s Saturday Salon Zoom meeting where we discussed the challenges for exonerees during this pandemic and how our challenges relate directly to the experiences of the general public at this time. Sunny and Peter shared their experience of dealing with isolation, frustration and maintaining hope during these difficult times.

On June 6, Sunny and Peter participated in a Zoom meeting entitled “Love, Forgiveness, and Yoga.” Hosted by Yoga Shala, based in Argentina, there were participants from four countries on the call. Peter and Sunny shared their meditation practice and Sunny shared her “Five-Minute Rule.” We continued our outreach to bring the message of hope to exonerees, supporters, and all people from around the world. You can watch the recorded call at this Facebook link.



Survival Yoga

Sunny continues to make her yoga and relaxation/meditation videos available to the public so that everyone can benefit from them. We will continue to share with you through the coming weeks.
 
The videos can be viewed below. Please pass them on to whoever you think might benefit from them. If you enjoy these videos, please consider a donation of $1, $5 or $10 to help us continue to share healing and hope through these difficult times.

Pissed Off Yoga!
We cannot control the circumstances in our lives. But we can control how we deal with them. This has been a challenging year in many ways for the world. We are all feeling intense emotions right now, but it is also an opportunity. So I want to share a technique I use when I’m angry and upset.

Life & Death Yoga
Sometimes it’s hard to lift ourselves when there is so much going on in the world. Life and death are part of the same continuum. Sometimes it is time for life, and sometimes it’s time for death, which is a transition into the great mystery. (Although life can be a great mystery, as well!) Here, we’ll work on techniques to make ourselves the best person that we can be no matter our circumstances.

Our Furry and Feathered Friends

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We lost a dear friend in late May with the passing of Mrs. Chuckles, one of our hens. She gave us fresh eggs and delighted our visitors for many years.

Our remaining hen, Chucky Lucky, misses her friend but we will soon have some new hens for her to roam the property with. We also plan to add a few ducks to the family, and maybe even a goose!


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A friend has been supplying us with goose eggs. Just one is enough for two people. Peter holds a hen egg next to a fresh goose egg for comparison.

P.S.–We eat the eggs, but we don’t eat our animals!


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Millie is our office copy cat! She is always nearby while we’re working, making sure we are not goofing off!

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A hare dashes up the road toward The Sunny Healing Center on a beautiful Connemara day. The mountains and lakes around us are filled with so much wildlife. We were lucky to grab this snapshot!


Our Activism

Exonerees in Pakistan brought personal protective equipment to a local prison to help protect prisoners and guards during this global pandemic.

We are involved in helping Sohail and other exonerees in Pakistan to set up a healing center there, and this is a wonderful example of love and caring in action. Thank you!


A New Way to Support Us

Amazon Smile has long been a great way to support our organization, as Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to The Sunny Center Foundation USA, Inc. Now, the Amazon Shopping app has been updated so that you can make purchases from your smartphone and continue to support us!

Here’s how:
AmazonSmile customers can now support Sunny Center Foundation USA Inc in the Amazon shopping app on iOS and Android mobile phones! Simply follow these instructions to turn on AmazonSmile and start generating donations.

  •  Open the Amazon Shopping app on your device
  • Go into the main menu of the Amazon Shopping app and tap into ‘Settings
  • Tap ‘AmazonSmile‘ and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process 

If you do not have the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app, update your app. Click here for instructions.


Stay Connected

Yesterday, I was on calls with Pakistan, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Ireland and the U.K.–eight places altogether! As part of our work, we sometimes receive requests from the media for interviews with exonerees who live at the Tampa Center. These meetings, where they are asked to talk about their experiences, can be gut-wrenching for them. If you have read about them and would like to extend some help and comfort to our exonerees you can support them with a gift card or a donation to the Sunny Center specifically for that person to help them maintain their lives during this difficult time.
 
We are living through one of the most challenging periods of our lives. Never before have we been reminded so profoundly of what human contact and companionship means to us, individually and collectively.

We want all our friends and supporters to know that we intend to stay connected in every way available to us – phone, text, email, Facetime, Skype, Zoom, and even snail mail! We know how vitally important our network of exonerees and like-minded activists for justice is to keep hope alive for a more humane world.

Thank you for your support. And if you’d like to underscore your belief in the mission of the Sunny Center and our commitment that every exoneree deserves to lead a fulfilling life of freedom, health, security and peace, please consider making a donation here.

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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