Life has not always been easy for Sylvia Anthony, but if you met her you would see a vibrant, remarkable woman who today, at age 83, stands as a pillar of inspiration that life does not end in retirement – but finding new meaning in life is what gives us life! Sylvia overcame insurmountable adversity in order to help others and is living proof that life can be lived victoriously at any age. As founder and president of Sylvia’s Haven, a shelter for women and children near Boston, Sylvia has helped transform over 1077 lives in the past 26 years. While there is never enough money (she has loaned her own money to the shelter many times and has not received pay for the past four years), Sylvia wouldn’t change what she does for the world and calls it her “magnificent obsession!”
Adding ‘author’ to her vast repertoire, Sylvia’s latest book, Till the End of Time (Xulon Press), is her compelling biography, seasoned with wisdom from a vast array of real-life experiences, that portrays a rich emotional and personal journey of transformation from an abused child to senior citizen. It is an extraordinary true story of abuse, love, sorrow and triumph – and is a story that will forever change your life.
Sylvia’s book tells of a child, beaten by her father and unwanted by her mother, whose saving grace was the love of her grandparents, uncles and cousins. At age five, when several of her beloved relatives moved to California, she was more lost and alone than ever before. As a teenager, still suffering beatings by her father, Sylvia experiences her first young love; Tony. Readers share a poignant story of a marriage that produces three children, but ends in divorce due to cruelty, leaving Sylvia to raise her children alone. Tony later becomes a disabled veteran through tuberculosis, and Sylvia goes on to cope with life and its hardships.
Sylvia’s second marriage to Rick brought them both closer to God and lead to the founding of her shelter, Sylvia’s Haven. In fact, just six months before Rick died of cancer, he completed the details, with the help of a lawyer who worked pro-bono, to get the shelter started. It was incorporated on January 25 and Rick died March 30. 1987.
The title, Till the End of Time , represents the favorite love song of Sylvia and Tony, her first love, so it makes perfect sense that the remainder of the book is devoted to many of the remarkable stories of how Sylvia cared for her “girls” and she did so with the help of Tony, who re-entered her life to help with the shelter until his death at age 71 – proving that their love truly did last Till the End of Time.
Sylvia believes that in spite of the bad experiences she endured, God gave her the courage to continue on. Although she was made to believe as a child she could do nothing, she went on to marry, raise three children and at 57 begin her service of sheltering homeless women and children. At age 83, still a force to contend with, she never backs away from a new challenge.
She has been featured on the 700 Club, and received a commendation from President George Bush in 2002. She is the recipient of the Arthur L. Whitaker Award, the National Alliance to End Homelessness Recognition Award, Ambassador for Peace Award, the Governor of Massachusetts Recognition Award, named the Hometown Hero by WBZ-TV in Boston, and recognized as Woman of the Year 2012/2013 by the National Association of Professional Women.
Sylvia’s Haven is a nonprofit housing facility, located in Revere, Mass, that provides shelter, guidance and emotional support for homeless women and their children. The women can be referred to schools, counselors and work advisers in the area for help with developing their own earning skills so they may live independent lives. Sylvia is also the author of Sylvia’s Haven, published in 2008 by AuthorHouse. For more information, please visit: www.sylviashaven.org.
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