A Happy, Healthy and Healing New Year to All

Jan 17, 2022 | Activism, Newsletter

Sunny and Millie curl up with a good book!

As we start off 2022, we wish you health, happiness and healing. And most of all, we wish you love! We are sending you all our love and gratitude—not virtual, but real! 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.

If you are struggling, go to our website and get a boost by going back through our past newsletters. Check out Sunny’s meditation and yoga videos on YouTube. Or get in touch with us and we will reach out to you.

Read on for a look at The Sunny Center in wintertime, our latest activities, and a few antics!


A New Effort: Employer Database

If you are an Exoneree, or know of one, who has found employment, or if you are an employer who has hired an Exoneree, we would like to hear from you.

We are creating a database of employers who have hired Exonerees and had good experiences. We’ll use this database as a resume + recommendation resource so that other Exonerees can find employment as well.

Even though a person has been wrongly convicted, they still carry the same burden: the stigma of having been in prison. Employers are often wary of hiring Exonerees. However, it’s our hope that if an employer can talk with other employers who have hired Exonerees, they’ll be far more confident about hiring them.

Please click the link below if you can help.


Life at The Sunny Healing Center

Our volunteer Tress with little Tom Tom, one of our kittens. 

This was Tress’s fifth time volunteering at the Sunny Healing Center in Ireland. She is a true friend and part of the family! She took one month out of her life, donating her time and energy and some funds. It was so good to have her with us again.

There are always plenty of chores to do around the Center, whether it’s caring for our animals, collecting eggs, or watering our winter greens in the polytunnel. Our local volunteers continue to help us with all the chores that have become difficult for us as we get older. We are very grateful to them all!


Life at The Sunny Living Center

Having the right help and support in the beginning can make all the difference for an Exoneree. That is why we do what we do at The Sunny Living Center–and that is why we need your help!

Our residents, by staying at the Living Center for a while, are able to catch their breath in the period after exoneration and prepare to live fully on their own. While they are here, they continue to heal physically and emotionally. The Living Center provides a stable home as they rest and recover. Other residents are living almost independently, working part-time or full-time and assembling the building blocks for a new start in life — from getting a driver’s license to continuing education and certifications, and more.

Gradually, Exoneree residents become ready to transition from living at the Tampa community. When they do, we then open the Living Center to other recently released Exonerees. We find that this is the best use for our limited resources in housing.

We operate the Sunny Living Center so that we can make a difference. So that we can help our fellow Exonerees through the difficult and ongoing transition from wrongful imprisonment to life in society again.

Not only are we not prepared for society, but society is not prepared for us!

So, having a safe, healing and supportive place to go, where one will be completely understood and nurtured, can give a person the time and space needed in order to make the necessary adjustments and connections. It allows a person to reconnect with their family members, and with society in general, from a strong position rather than one of need and insecurity. 

Here’s how you can help!

We are always trying to upgrade the quality of the furnishings and equipment in the houses at the Living Center.

If you are able to contribute to these needs — either by donating furniture or  contributing funds toward maintenance, please contact us! Click the link below and send us a message that includes your name and email, and the service you can provide or item to donate.


Wish Lists: Help Exonerees Directly

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

Terry’s wish list
David’s wish list
Paul’s wish list
Danny’s wish list
Joseph’s wish list
Learn about our Wish List program by clicking here!
Thank you so much for your support! And don’t forget, you can purchase through smile.amazon.com and select The Sunny Center Foundation USA, Inc. as your charity of choice.

Support 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.

Outreach

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

‘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…”

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.

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.

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.

Happy Holidays to Our Friends Near and Far!

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.

An incredible opportunity to support The Sunny Center

We are so excited to announce that our board member, artist Peter Tunney, is auctioning two of his masterpieces.  You can go directly to usatoday.com/nft to get all the details.

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)!

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.

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