In normal times, our December issue is an annual report about our activities hosting Exonerees at the Sunny Healing Center in Ireland and our work traveling and speaking at events to raise awareness about the needs of those exonerated of crimes they did not commit. But these aren’t normal times. These are extraordinary times. And you’ve all been extraordinary supporters. Thanks to you, we’ve been able to keep helping Exonerees in the midst of a global emergency.
Local volunteers at our Sunny Healing Center in Ireland and our Sunny Living Center in Tampa, Florida, have kept our facilities in shape so that we can continue to serve Exonerees on their healing journey.
In 2022, we will need your help even more. Outreach to Exonerees in the U.S. is a priority for us, as we are able to help many more Exonerees remotely while we wait for travel to normalize.
While cash is the best way to help The Sunny Center, we have many other ways for you to help. Scroll down for our Wish List program where you can help Exonerees directly. We welcome your ideas, too – if you know of a way to help that isn’t listed in this issue, drop us a line!
Second chance auction
If you missed the opportunity to own a unique NFT artwork by Peter Tunney, stay tuned on social media (and by subscribing to this newsletter) for a second auction! Proceeds will benefit The Sunny Center directly. Thank you for joining our auction, and many thanks to Peter for providing his artwork and for his many years of support!
USA Today article
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, USA Today and their parent company Gannett published an article Sunny wrote about her experience as an Exoneree. You can read it here. It’s a compelling piece and thanks to Gannett we were able to get the word out about The Sunny Center and our work with Exonerees.
Life at The Sunny Healing Center
December tomatoes from our polytunnel!
Our family of furry friends has changed over the past two years. Once we were settled into our new home, we became hosts to a pair of feral cats and, shortly afterward, a litter of beautiful kittens! The kittens are teenagers now.
Because of the ban on travel during the pandemic, the Healing Center temporarily paused Exoneree stays. But that didn’t mean a pause in work around the Center!
Currently, local volunteers here in Ireland help us with maintenance of the house and gardens and care of our little family of hens, kittens, cats and, of course, Barney.
While we wait to resume full operations and begin bringing Exonerees for their individual stay, you don’t have to wait! We would love for tradespeople to volunteer in their regions and show Exonerees things like woodworking, masonry, gardening or other employable skills. It doesn’t matter where you are, because we have Exonerees everywhere!
As international travel continues to reopen, we are planning to gear up our volunteer program again. We’ll keep you posted on when this program will restart, but you can find out more about it at our website.
Life at The Sunny Living Center
One of the homes for Exonerees at The Sunny Living Center.
Last week, an Exoneree donated a refrigerator for one of the units at the Living Center. “This is my way of giving back to the people that have helped me so much since the day of my release,” the Exoneree told us. We are so very grateful for this donation!
Located in Tampa, Florida, The Sunny Living Center gives Exonerees a safe place In which to go through the process of recovering from the trauma of their wrongful conviction experience and rebuild their lives. A secure home is so important. Without it, Exonerees have a very difficult time finding a space in which they feel safe enough to begin to process this trauma. We support Exonerees at this transitional time as they regain their health and build a solid footing from which to start the journey into freedom again.
Dorothy is such an integral part of the Living Center, and we are so grateful to have her! She makes sure the Exonerees at the Center have access to Whatever support they may need. Thank you, Dorothy!
Our Volunteers and Staff
A huge thanks to the volunteers in the U.S. and Ireland who have helped us throughout the year! Volunteers helped our Exonerees with so many things, from getting key paperwork done to maintaining and improving their health and their spiritual well-being. Our thanks to the volunteers below:
- Dr. Grounds
- Reverend Al
Our tireless support team is essential to keeping The Sunny Center Foundation operating smoothly:
Contribute Your Skills
Are you an auto mechanic, appliance repair tech, or social media whiz? A chef or baker? Do you specialize in writing resumes? Are you an attorney or law student who can donate some of your time? Are you a medical or dental professional? A veterinarian? You’re needed!
This year, we helped match an auto mechanic to an Exoneree in the Atlanta area who needed his car fixed so he could get to work. We had an attorney volunteer some of his time to help Exonerees in Florida with concerns like wills and care directives. Contact us and let us know what services you can offer—we may not have an immediate need but would love to be able to contact you when that need arises.
Help for Exonerees
New Group Meeting Forming
In our next newsletter, we hope to be announcing the launch of this new program for anyone and everyone whose life has been impacted by wrongful convictions!
We are developing an open meeting for Exonerees and anyone whose life has been impacted by a wrongful conviction: family members, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, even the lawyers who defended Exonerees – so we can begin to share each other’s stories and concerns, successes and failures.
Through this new program we can help each other begin to understand each other’s needs, work to become more harmonious, and develop better relationships. One of the biggest hardships when an Exoneree is released is their relationship with loved ones, because they can’t understand each other.
We will have Exoneree mentors – those who have been through it – to mentor those who are just starting to go through the process of rejoining society and healing. This creates a safe space to do that.
Contact us if you’re interested in participating!
Sundays With Sunny
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.
Peace and Love,
Sunny and Peter