Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,
Spring is here and we are inspired to feel hope, inspired by all the daffodil blossoms and primroses that grow everywhere here. We at the Sunny Center see them as sunny petals of optimism that longer, warmer days are coming.
We hope our Sunny Center friends and supporters around the globe are also feeling that flutter of quickening of the heart knowing that, in spite of whatever is going on in the world, the seasons come and the seasons go and we are still fighting the good fight to bring just a bit more peace, love and justice into this world.
Happy Spring to you all!!!
OUR EXONEREE GUESTS AND VISITORS
We are making preparations for our next exoneree guests. For many exonerees, the process of obtaining IDs, passports and VISAs are an exhaustive procedure that require time and commitment. We looking forward to their arrival.
We also had a crew of student documentary filmmakers from the National Film School of Ireland in Dun Laoghaire come to film for their project documenting the work we do and our daily lives at the Sunny Center. It will be screened on May 30th at the IADT Film School in Dun Laoghaire at noon.
The Pinellas Public Defenders office hosted a fundraiser for our Sunny Center Community residence in Tampa to raise the necessary donations to purchase a washer and dryer and a shed for residents – improvements which will, no doubt, delight them!
We also had visitors from Argentina, healers Luci and Cristina, who told us that even people there have heard about the Sunny Center!
One of the student documentary filmmakers was so inspired by the mission of the Sunny Center, he’s decided to become a volunteer! He returned from Dublin to shoot some more B-roll film and also to learn about taking care of the animals!
We are also looking forward to the return to our veteran volunteer Tress who has offered to come back a fourth time to help keep things running smoothly here!
OUR FURRY AND FEATHERED FRIENDS
We are so happy to hear that our goats that were rehomed to Inis Mór are thriving and have happily settled into #goatlife and #islandviews. And as Easter approaches, Easter, who was named after the holiday she was born on, has given birth to a new kid, herself!
We spoke to a delegation of graduate social work students visiting from East Strousburg University under the guidance of our friend Dr. Lloyd Lyter, who directs the social work program there. The last stop on their trip around Ireland was NUI Galway where Sunny and Peter shared their thoughts on the challenges exonerees face in transitioning to life on the outside and how social workers might assist them. The Sunny Center coordinator Anne Driscoll also shared her perspective as she is both a licensed certified social worker in Massachusetts and has worked with exonerees while investigating their wrongful conviction cases since 2006. Students also heard talks by Dr. Brian Farrell, who teaches law at the University of Iowa and founded the Innocence Project of Iowa, and Professor Caroline McGregor, who is director of the social work program at NUI Galway.
It has long been our hope to engage social work programs at colleges and universities across the country to assist exonerees in meeting the many challenges they face post release. And we hope to promote that goal with the Innocence Network at the annual conference in Atlanta.
Thank you for being among our treasured supporters. And we hope that if you believe in our mission and have faith in us, you will consider making a donation to the Sunny Center today. We will be eternally grateful.
Peace and Love,
Sunny and Peter