After almost two years of stunning service in the Germantown neighborhood and broader Philadelphia region, the No More Secrets Mind Body Spirit Inc (NMS MBS Inc.) team is ready to flow across the country.
Following the mission of The SPOT Period Hub, NMS MBS Inc.’s full-service menstrual health and uterine wellness center, the Flow to 50 States initiative seeks to offer direct support to vulnerable populations susceptible to Period Poverty. NMS MBS Inc. founder and CEO Lynette Medley describes Period Poverty as “the inability to access menstrual products, in addition to waste management and operable toilets” during a person’s menstrual cycle.
Nearly 17 million menstruating people are living in poverty in the U.S. Medley says this can hinder people from playing sports and attending after-school programs. Some families are forced to choose between buying food or menstrual products. These are things that Medley says she has seen transformed since opening the menstrual hub in February 2021.
Medley identifies the additional impact of this work, saying that the people she works with can better address their needs. “One of the biggest things that I’ve seen is the narrative shifting in our communities around talking about periods,” Medley says. “And really putting a voice to their experiences. I have people who can now articulate their wants, needs, and desires around menstrual health and wellness.”
The menstrual hub co-founder says that the demonization of the menstrual cycle has historical roots and that laws created from a patriarchal and misogynistic viewpoint continue to keep conversations limited.
After distributing over 7 million menstrual products since the hub’s opening, they found that 39% of their products get shipped nationwide. With this astounding revelation, Medley and her daughter and hub co-founder, Nya McGlone, found it necessary to expand this work.
The Flow to 50 States looks to partner with pre-existing organizations around the country that will help distribute menstrual products and give uterine wellness and safety education. Medley makes it clear that they are not looking to replicate the existing model here in Philly. She knows there are communities with different needs and organizations that have already built those relationships and established networks of trust that are better suited to carry out this work.
“One of the ways that people are vulnerable and share their truths is because they trust and they feel safe,” Medley says, expanding on her methodology. “One of the things I’ve seen some social service organizations do is they come from their ideologies and say we’re going to do this without understanding the community that they’re servicing. Again, you can do great work, but you don’t have to be the leader. You can guide the process and be on the side of someone as you service the community.”
This initiative has garnered national attention, especially after Medley was invited to the Rachel Ray show. Medley said the expansion is underway, with partnerships with different HBCUs, including Lincoln University, which has been a satellite site since March 2021. By January, they plan to expand into Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. The SPOT has raised $2,305 of its $1 million goal.
Medley reflects on her time and work, saying, “this has been a journey. If you would have asked me when we opened if this is where we would be, it’s no way I would have ever thought we would be where we are now. It’s amazing.
To support the Flow to 50 States, check out their Donorbox page. Aside from the monetary support, the SPOT is still accepting supply donations, which people can access through its website. You can check out their Amazon wishlist to donate suggested supplies.
Lynette will talk with the Germantown Info Hub about the Flow to 50 States initiative this Thursday on the Info Hub Hour on G-Town Radio. You can listen at 5 p.m. on 92.9 FM or stream it live at gtownradio.com.