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Rising Stars: Meet Victoriah Bech

Today we’d like to introduce you to Victoriah Bech. 

Hi Victoriah, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in the entertainment industry, had my own tv show, and was singing and dancing professionally my whole life. I moved to Los Angeles right after high school by myself from Denmark to continue my career in the entertainment industry. In 2016 I had a near-death experience where I was very very sick and hospitalized for weeks. I ended up having emergency facial surgery, and I found myself in hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. I was kicked out of my bank, lost my offices in Beverly Hills, and even had an at-home nurse. in that part of my life, I fired my whole team. In the face of losing everything, I came across a shelter where I started my first preschool in skid row. Up until then I had struggled paying my bills, paying for basic essentials. I turned down a high-paying nanny job to start my preschool in skid row. Those were the first steps for me starting our nonprofit “Starts with One Today”. Ever since I started, all I had to give was my time. Ever since I started giving my time, my money problems have been resolved. dedicated my entire life to giving back. While I was sick, I realized I was living a glamorous life, I remember happy times but never being truly content. I knew I had to change the course of my life. My accident caused me to see that I always had big dreams, but God had a much bigger purpose for my life. Today with our nonprofit “Starts with One Today,” we feed and clothe 400-500 people every Sunday and we now have two transitional homes called “Find a Purpose,” where he has housed over 3oo men who are struggling with homeless, incarceration, addiction, and or aging out of the foster care system. We have also done several school events for the youth in South Central Los Angeles. 

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
One of the biggest struggles running a nonprofit is you have to be ready to serve 24/7. I do not have the privilege to not show up, regardless of how I feel. Even if we have challenges in our personal lives, we always have to be available. Running two transitional homes is a 24/7 job. Also, it has been a big lesson in focusing on the why rather than the how, and to just have faith. Sometimes it feels like we are facing a mountain, and then the next day the mountain is moved. For example, we ran out of fridge space, and we were not sure what we would do. Then, by that Sunday, we had three new refrigerators. It is a constant process of having faith and putting your own needs aside. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Two years ago, we started our biggest program to date, which is called “Sundays in Skidrow,” where we feed and clothe 400-500 people every Sunday. We started off with just myself, my fiancé Jonathan, and two volunteers. Today we have more than 400 volunteers. We also have two transitional homes where we are housing 31 men who are struggling with homeless, incarceration, addiction, and or aging out of the foster care system. We have also done several events for the youth and community in South LA, such as prom giveaways, back-to-school drives, and feeding the local families in the Crenshaw district. We also do some dog rescuing as well when time allows it. 

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Every time we serve our community, we always start by saying, “everybody is someone’s somebody”. Because everybody who is in line is either someone’s father, mother, cousin, brother. Everyone in line is loved by someone else. The reason why – my dad spent a majority of his life in skid row we could be serving my dad. It’s so important to remember that no one grows up thinking they’re going to be in skid row; we really value showing everyone compassion and extra grace for the people that a we serve. 

We welcome new volunteers every Sunday from 8:30 am-11 am at the corner of 5th & Towne Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles; no pre-sign-up required! 

For Thanksgiving, we are doing a shoe drive where we encourage people to donate shoes. For the month of December, we will be doing a blanket drive. See our Instagram for more details! @Startswithonetoday 

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