Bryan Tsiliacos was feeling blessed ahead of his 30th birthday, so he decided to celebrate by doing 30 acts of kindness for other people, including a group of nurses in Sacramento, Cali. The project, known as “30 by 30,” has taken Tsiliacos all over the country. He said he got the idea after realizing he wasn’t satisfied with his life ahead of such a historic milestone.
“Rather than just dwelling on that, I took a more uplifting approach. I took out a sheet of paper and I started to write down all these things I was grateful for. And by doing that, by expressing my gratitude, I realized that every good thing that happened to me was helped by the support and generosity of others,” Tsiliacos said.
He’s been chronicling the journey on social media to show his followers what it means to give back to the community. On one occasion, he gave 400 flan desserts to hungry firefighters. Another day, he dropped off care packages for the people who work at a local animal shelter.
For his next act of kindness, Tsiliacos teamed up with Good Morning America to surprise a group of 167 nurses at Shriners Children’s Hospital/Northern California for Nurses’ Week 2023. The providers were given a new set of scrubs and a reusable thermos.
Nurse Erica Marcias also received an 8-day cruise to Nova Scotia with her family after being nominated by her manager Robert Tolbert.
“I see that she goes above and beyond as a nurse, every step of the way,” Tolbert said.
Marcias said she became a nurse after spending time in foster care as a child.
“When I was 4 or 5 in a home, I just remember laying in a hallway just peeking over the corner, watching a caregiver give food through a tube in the belly. And I had no idea what that was, because I had only ever seen people eat from their mouth. I just remember watching her and thinking, ‘Wow.’ And that memory stayed with me throughout my growing up,” Macias said.
She also used to take care of her grandmother when she was in high school. “That was a level of fulfillment, where you kind of feel like maybe this is your calling,” Macias said.
Tsiliacos also has a personal connection to Shriners Children’s Hospital. His grandmother, Alta May, worked as a nurse at the facility from 1959 to 1986. She was recently honored with a plaque that will be hung on a hospital wall.
May started working as a nurse with the Cadet Nurse Corps, a program created to help alleviate the nursing shortage before and during WWII. After training as a nurse, she worked at various VA hospitals before coming to Shriners, where she was promoted to head nurse of the boys’ ward and worked there until retirement.
“It’s just so touching to see her legacy continue to live on through all of you,” Tsiliacos said. He recently created a GoFundMe to help pay for all his good deeds and is looking to raise a total of $50,000.