Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,
We are grateful for the legion of freedom fighters who are committed to challenging injustice and providing assistance to the wrongfully convicted and exonerated in every corner of the world. We also remain committed to this goal.
Now is a good time to use this grand pause to reflect on what our priorities are, and should be: health, safety, peace, personal responsibility and our interconnectedness.
OUR EXONEREE GUESTS AND VISITORS
This month, after a generous gift by the death row chaplain Dale and his wife Susan, our exoneree community residence in Tampa was able to purchase and assemble a shed for a washing machine and dryer that can be used by our residents. Our exoneree outreach coordinator Dorothy and our resident Paul Hildwin teamed up to get the shed erected. And, after three days of hard work in the hot sun, we have a beautiful new shed! Thank you Dorothy! Thank you Paul! Thank you Chaplin Dale and Susan!
This is the kind of community spirit we welcome and are inspired by! We are grateful for those whose generosity of spirit, skills and wallets have made life a little easier and more convenient for our residents. THANK YOU!!!
It is no longer safe to go to the laundromat. Many of our exonerees are of an age that makes them particularly vulnerable and are circumscribed from going into public places. This is the time when we need to care for each other, more than ever.
Perhaps this is also a time to consider whether your gift – no matter how small or large - could make a difference in the life of someone like another of our Sunny Center community residents, Clemente Aguirre, whose claim for compensation was denied after he became the 28th person exonerated from death row from Florida - like Sunny, herself – after serving almost 15 years for a double murder he didn’t commit.
We thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
This month, we’d like to acknowledge the ongoing work of all the local volunteers who are delivering provisions and checking in on us at the Sunny Center Home as we “cocoon.” THANK YOU!!! We are getting through this together even though we are keeping a safe distance apart.
We would also like to thank all of those who are creating love offerings on Zoom and social media, making it possible for us to connect with each other in meaningful ways even though we must remain physically apart. Our biggest challenge now is to find ways to reach out to and connect with those who are not technologically adept. We know the consequences of extreme isolation. We find it interesting that our prison experience has now become valuable to the rest of the world. And we are happy to be able to give back! It is a way in which we never thought we would be able to connect with the rest of the world.
It is for this reason that Sunny has made her yoga and relaxation/meditation videos public, rather than just sending them to her students. For exonerees, there is a fine line between triggering PTSD and an ironic appreciation of remembering what it is like to deal with isolation. We will share more of this with you in the coming months.
OUR FURRY AND FEATHERED FRIENDS
Peace and Love,
Sunny and Peter