Sometimes, it takes a (small) army

Jul 15, 2021 | Activism, News, Newsletter

Terry Wanzer had to fight for more than 20 years to have his record expunged, even though he was exonerated in 1996. The impact on his life was terrible: He had trouble getting housing, he couldn’t get a job. Life was difficult, to say the least.

We helped Terry get in touch with an attorney, and in 2020, the state of Georgia finally expunged his record. He is able to apply for housing and other assistance, and look for work, and he doesn’t have to worry so much about his record being a barrier to achieving his goals.

Many people are surprised to learn that Exonerees frequently struggle to have their wrongful conviction removed from state records.

Thanks to the efforts of a Sunny Center volunteer, Carrie, who has become a friend as well as a supporter, we are in the process of organizing a small army of women lawyers who will help Exonerees with the process of expunging their records.

The laws for expunging a criminal record are different in every state, and even every county, so it’s a bit of a challenge. However, the process is the same, so this project will focus on creating a template for going through the process of expungement.

Ultimately, the goal is for exonerated people to have their record automatically sealed or expunged at the time of their exoneration. This helps make it very clear that an Exoneree is not guilty. They should not have to fight their battle all over again, for years and years.

We will update you on this project as it develops, but we are so excited to be moving forward! You can help us continue to support Exonerees’ efforts to clear their names and rebuild their lives.

When you make a donation to The Sunny Center, you’re helping us do so many things. You’re helping to maintain and operate the Sunny Healing Center in Ireland where, in normal years, we bring Exonerees to help them process their experience and step on the path to healing and happiness. You’re helping our residents at the Sunny Living Center in Tampa, Florida. You’re helping to defray the costs involved with our direct work with Exonerees. And helping us with the day-to-day running of the centers and the outreach program.

Any amount helps, no matter how small. Please make a donation today.

Volunteers Make This Happen

Thank you to our newest volunteer Stoss, who has been helping us with social media template design! Visit us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to see all the latest activity at The Sunny Center. And let us know what you think of the new design!

While the pandemic put a temporary pause on the volunteer program, the needs of Exonerees in the U.S. and around the world didn’t go away. From getting a ride to the doctor, to fixing a car so they can get to work, to obtaining basic items like groceries or pet supplies, Exonerees often need a helping hand.

You may be able to help out in specific ways. Drop us a line and tell us about the skills or services you might be willing to provide when needed.

Wish Lists: Help Exonerees Directly

Support an Exoneree directly by purchasing a needed item for them!

Thank you so much for your support! And don’t forget, you can purchase through and select The Sunny Center Foundation USA, Inc. as your charity of choice.

See the Wish List FAQ here.

Help Us on Social Media

Can’t donate directly? That’s okay – you can help us by sharing our social media posts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter far and wide!

Support for Exonerees

Women Exonerees are welcome to join SUNDAYS WITH SUNNY, a group online chat where we can share and learn and grow together, and just be there to support one another.

And all Exonerees, please visit our Outreach page and contact us if you need help in any way. We will respond to you. Even if you just need someone to talk to!

Peace and Love,
Sunny and Peter

A new goal for the new year

The end of the old year and the beginning of the new are both busy times, filled with the sharing of gifts with family and friends. And that's why I want to send a personal thank you to all of those who took the time to include us in the sharing of gifts during this...

Remembering Peter

My dear Peter is gone.
We sang him home on the last day of the year, gathered around his bedside as we had done for so many days before.

‘Send them green.’ A special message from a Sunny Center supporter!

“I had the wonderful opportunity to be a guest at the Sunny Center this past July. My first trip to Ireland, it always is a magical moment to visit friends who live overseas…”

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.

Even in summer, the work doesn’t stop

We’re in midsummer now, with its long days that stretch until 11 in the evening here in Ireland. It’s a busy time for everyone and everything.

The power of art to heal and renew

Did you know that Peter was a woodworker and an artist? He created so many things. But more importantly, he taught those skills to other Exonerees when they visited the Center.

Looking for green shoots

Photo by Samantha Bookman. Peter and I chose to situate the Sunny Healing Center here in this beautiful location in the west of Ireland. A newcomer may at first see only a barren, rocky, windswept landscape. But, put your hand on the earth here, and you can feel the...

A message from Sunny about Peter

The time has come to say farewell to our dear Peter, who is in the process of transitioning from this body and this plane.

Finding Peace, Joy and Hope

The events in Ukraine over the past several days have been ever-present in all of our lives through the daily news and constant social media. These times can be especially difficult for Exonerees because of the traumas they are working to overcome.

Love Is Always the Answer

Winter is always a little bit quieter than the rest of the year. After a long day spent maintaining the Sunny Healing Center and getting it ready for visitors, it’s time for us to cuddle up with the kittens and, of course, Barney, on chilly winter evenings with a warm fire in the hearth.

A Happy, Healthy and Healing New Year to All

Love has no barriers and no limits. And neither does our gratitude for your continuing support and friendship. Know that you are never alone, because you are part of our family.