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.
This is the kind of life we want all Exonerees to have: one filled with love, laughter, warmth and security. It’s one reason why we get up every day to work with Exonerees and help them on their healing journey.
This month we have fantastic news to share, so keep reading! Big things are beginning to happen at The Sunny Center. You can be a part of the adventure – click below to donate directly, or visit https://sunnycenter.org to learn how you can help.
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.
Peter Tunney Artwork
Love is the answer: Above is one of Peter Tunney’s signature artworks, a collage that says, “Love Life.” Check it out at Instagram! Peter is one of our strongest supporters and a dear friend.
Gannett Newspapers interviewed Peter in November about what drives his art and why he supports The Sunny Center and those who have been wrongly imprisoned. Read it here!
Around The Sunny Healing Center
Big news! We will very soon be opening the Healing Center to Exoneree visitors. It’s been a long two years, but we spent the time preparing our new center so that it’s ready to host Exonerees who are starting their healing journey.
Our program is unique: We work one-on-one with Exonerees during their stay. Our mission is one of healing and hope. Exonerees also work with a therapist, and they have access to yoga teachers. We cook fresh, healthy food for them and teach them how to prepare healthy meals. At the Center, Exonerees can learn skills like gardening, woodworking, and more. Our animals are another form of therapy for them. They are surrounded by nature in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
We’re so excited and looking forward to hosting Exonerees again!
Around The Sunny Living Center
Through Dorothy, we received a donation of appliances and cabinets so we could upgrade one of the housing units.
The neighbors around the Living Center have asked our Exonerees to help them with their security systems. We’ve become trusted members of the community. That’s a huge step in helping people to understand that our Exonerees are enthusiastic about being good neighbors. They’re really becoming part of the community!
Last month, we did an interview with the brand-new Manchester University Innocence Project. We discussed the impact that wrongful conviction has on people, and how important it is to recognize and treat the trauma of being wrongfully convicted.
Employer Reference Project
We’re working with two professors from the University of Pennsylvania on one of our new projects – to create a reference for exonerees who are trying to get employment. This reference also enables employers to connect with other employers who had a good experience hiring employees.
Getting hired is very difficult for exonerees because employers are concerned about hiring someone who’s been in prison—even if they were wrongfully incarcerated. This database can be used as a reference and will be helpful for Exonerees and employers.
Have you hired an exoneree or know of someone who hired an exoneree? Are you an exoneree who was successfully hired? Contact us to join the reference database!
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.