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Forest Parker Beti Atilano wants to make sure residents and small businesses in town have the supplies necessary to keep their homes and businesses sanitized. Global Citizen USA, the nonprofit she founded in 2018, distributed surface cleaner and hand soap to residents and business owners on May 9 in the Forest Park Bank parking lot.

In Forest Park, the non-profit gave away 120 2.5-gallon containers of surface disinfectant. They also provided hand soap to senior citizens.

As a member of the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce, Atilano worked with the chamber’s executive director Laurie Kokenes to set up the distribution event. And, since her nonprofit banks at Forest Park Bank, it made sense to reach out to them to provide a location for distribution.

The products were donated by companies that Atilano contacted through Global Citizen USA, her nonprofit that focuses on global disaster and extreme poverty relief.

“We make tons of calls to many companies for distribution of product and nonperishable foods, which we usually distribute during hurricane season,” said Atilano. “We have been nonstop distributing globally since January, in Puerto Rico for earthquake relief, and then in response to the COVID crisis.”

Although Atilano lives in Forest Park and does extensive work locally, the nonprofit’s reach extends beyond the boundaries of this town. Global Citizen USA has done COVID-19 response distribution events in Melrose Park, Maywood, Berwyn and the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side. The organization has 20 events planned for the Chicagoland area.

After that, said Atilano, they’re heading to Ohio, West Virginia, Georgia, Texas and Florida to do the same there. Their mission to distribute cleaning products will take them to Puerto Rico, Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay next. Upon their return to Chicago, they’ll supply another 20 Chicagoland locations with sanitizing products.

“We need our communities to keep all surfaces of their homes sanitized,” said Atilano. “We are also focused on helping small family owned businesses who are struggling. Our goal at Global Citizen USA is to always make the biggest impact in every community we serve.”

Atilano has a history of providing relief to people affected by disasters. In April 2018, she was the driving force behind “Forest Park 4 Puerto Rico,” which raised over $10,000 for World Central Kitchen to support efforts after the hurricane. Following the fundraiser, she traveled to Puerto Rico to network with nonprofits and see what needs the island had.

In September 2018, Atilano spent the month collecting items for North Carolina victims of Hurricane Florence.

Since then, Global Citizen USA has been involved in delivering food and needed goods to disaster victims across the globe. Learn more at facebook.com/GlobalCitizenUSA/.