Finding Peace, Joy and Hope

Mar 17, 2022 | Activism, News, Newsletter

Taking a moment together on a lovely St. Patrick’s Day.

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.

There are many things in this life that we can’t control. But as Sunny always says, we have control over how we react to these things.

Please, dear friends, make some time each day to step away from the troubles of the world and find peace in your own lives. Turn off the TV, put down the phone, and do something positive for yourself. Take a walk, create something beautiful, or just spend a moment in positive affirmation of yourself.

Sunny has created guided meditation and yoga videos that you can view any time, day or night. Find them at our YouTube channel. We hope these will be a great help to you!

This month, as Spring begins to work its magic and awaken the plants and grass and trees, The Sunny Center is awakening too! Find out how we’re preparing to welcome Exonerees back to the Healing Center in this issue. And a happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! What may have started out as a local holiday has become a global one! It’s always good to have something to celebrate. Let us hope that someday soon we will celebrate a global day for peace! Meanwhile, enjoy the parades and the good cheer and the green beer! BTW, in Ireland they don’t color the beer green. I’m not sure what the leprechauns would think of that!

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.


Our Activism

Sunny speaks over Zoom on the first night of Amicus’ Spring Training 2022 event. (Photo by Margo Ravenscroft, from Twitter.)

During the first weekend in March, we were welcomed in a guest appearance at Amicus, during their Spring Training event, to talk about the experience of being Exonerees. Thanks to @amicus-alj for hosting this important event! Amicus is an organization that works to help people who have been sentenced to death in the US and worldwide. They are advocating an end to the death penalty.

Innocence Network Conference

Next month is the Innocence Network conference in Arizona. Although we will not be able to be there personally, we are asking those of you who are going to attend to let the new people know that we are here for them! Get their contact information and we will get in touch.

Pakistan Exonerees

Exonerees from Pakistan met in 2020 with officials from the country’s prison system. We are working with Exonerees there who are trying to set up a Sunny Healing Center in Pakistan.

U.S. Exoneree housing update

In the U.S., we have connected with other Exonerees who are looking forward to using a portion of their compensation to help with housing for our Exoneree family!

Giving back for the good fortune that we have had is so gratifying! We are so grateful to be able to share our experience and be part of the future. Together we can be so much more effective.


Life at The Sunny Healing Center

The daffodils are blooming and giving our spirits a lift with the promise of spring!

As we prepare for spring, we are also preparing to host guests! Although we will not personally be attending the Innocence Network conference in Arizona, we do have representatives who will be there to spread the word and let the new Exonerees know that we can offer them hope and healing and community at the Sunny Center.

Peter and Sunny hosted a film crew at the Healing Center with the focus on their love story, which they love to share, and are looking forward to participating in the first in-person retreat since the beginning of the pandemic!


Life at The Sunny Living Center

One of the units at the Living Center has undergone a makeover! We are always trying to upgrade what we can offer to our Exoneree family.

It has been very peaceful at the Living Center in these days in the beginning of spring. And we are looking forward to welcoming another newly released Exoneree in the near future!


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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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