Elgin nonprofit installs 'Hygiene Hutch' in local neighborhood

About this time last year, Go with the Flow, a local nonprofit in Elgin, that collects and distributes menstrual and hygiene products to individuals and organizations in need, started brainstorming.

How can they make period products available to people not affiliated with a shelter, school, or similar community resource? Remember, period products are not available for purchase with SNAP or Women, Infants, and Children.

Go With the Flow president and founder Carrie Zaccaria took note of the little community libraries and micro pantries gaining in popularity in the area. However, without the ability or know-how to create a similar structure, that would withstand the test of time, it did not seem like a possibility.

On further investigation, she found the Elgin Area Men's Shed, a dynamic nonprofit made up of local, mostly retired, gentlemen that enjoy woodworking and creating things for the community. The Men's Shed listened to the proposal and created four beautifully handcrafted hutches for Go with the Flow.

On Aug. 19, the first "Hygiene Hutch" was installed at the Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren, 783 Highland Ave. in Elgin.

This location was selected because of all the church offers their neighbors, including Saturday Soup Kitchen, and is located one block from a middle school and just a few blocks from a high school.

There is also a bus stop just feet from the hutch, making it accessible to so many people!

Go with the Flow couldn't be more excited to have their little brainstorm become a reality! They are grateful for the Elgin Area Men's Shed that created the hutches and the personnel at the Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren for embracing the mission and hosting the hutch on the their property.

The "Hygiene Hutch" operates on the "take what you need, leave what you can" philosophy.

In addition, Go with the Flow will monitor and fill the hutch as needed with the donations it receives from the community. If you would like to help support these efforts, feel free to visit the hutch or contact Go with the Flow at

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