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Philly is stepping up to help Afghans in a big way | Morning Newsletter

And, there are two Philly delivery services that aim to support small businesses.

Good morning, everyone! This is your Sunday Inquirer Morning Newsletter, with everything you need to get ready for the week to come. Today, we’re looking at Afghan evacuees in Philly, and a couple start-up delivery services that aim to support local businesses.

Philly is now the main hub for receiving Afghan evacuees in the U.S., officials said on Friday. PHL has received about 12,000 Afghan nationals so far. And, the Philly region has mounted an enormous effort to help them. Thousands and thousands in donations are pouring in, and so many people signed up to volunteer that the Nationalities Service Center had to stop accepting applications. Here’s a look at how Philly is stepping up to help Afghan evacuees.

Now let’s get to the rest. Happy Sunday, y’all.

— Lauren Aguirre (@laurencaguirre,

The week ahead

  1. Pennsylvania state Rep. Kevin Boyle was arrested Friday in Philadelphia and charged with harassment and violation of a protection from abuse order filed by his wife.

  2. A man tried four times for the same 1980 killing is likely facing a fifth trial after a Montgomery County jury deadlocked.

  3. Bloc Delivery is a Philly-based company that’s working to become a national competitor to Amazon. It offers next-day delivery from local stores by e-bike.

  4. Charles Sims Africa died this week, family members said. He was last member of MOVE freed on parole after serving 41 years in prison for the 1978 shootout that killed a Philly police officer.

  5. Billie Eilish lit up the Firefly festival in Delaware on Friday. The Killers, Tame Impala, and Lizzo are also hitting the stage this weekend.

  6. Gritty turned 3 on Friday. Here’s your definitive list of the Flyers mascot’s best and most outrageous moments.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

The founder behind Philly’s Delivery Guys

Víctor Tejada founded Delivery Guys based on his own experience. The graphics and software designer had been delivering food during most of the pandemic, after he left Comcast to launch his first start-up, which failed last year. He and his company are aimed at supporting small business entrepreneurs with food ordering and transportation logistics tailored to their needs.

The company now has about 50 drivers working with eight food preparers and convenience stores owned by Dominican, Puerto Rican, American, Nigerian, and Vietnamese entrepreneurs in West, North, and Northeast Philly.

More Stories:

  1. José Andrés Martínez is from Venezuela and plays as midfielder for Philly’s Union soccer team. He reflected on his career and his love for Philadelphia.

  2. The first female Hispanic priest, Yesenia “Jessie” Alejandro, in Pennsylvania’s Episcopal Church was ordained last year. And she’s from Philly.

  3. In July, the Latinx Craft Fair happened at Cherry Street Pier. It showcased work by local artists representing Latin America. Take a look.

  4. Need groceries? Here’s where to find a taste of Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean in Philly.

We’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by highlighting the lives and experiences of Hispanic and Latino people in the Philly region. Please reply to this email if you have an event or story you’d like to share here.

This week’s most popular stories

Behind the story with Rita Giordano

Each week we go behind the scenes with one of our reporters or editors to discuss their work and the challenges they face along the way. This week we chat with reporter Rita Girodano about her career and her recent work writing for The UpSide.

Can you describe what your coverage area is? What do you focus on for the Upside?

I am a writer for the Upside. We focus on stories about people doing uplifting, interesting and inspiring things, even in these difficult times.

Most of my career has been spent covering pretty serious subjects — poverty, health, education, urban issues. I am drawn to stories about people who pursue their dreams or make a difference despite adversity, discouragement, or even out of desperation. I also like to give a voice to people whose voices seldom get heard. All that said, sometimes I enjoy telling funny stories, too, because in spite of all that we’re up against in these times, there is still joy in the world.

What’s something you’ve learned through your reporting?

This is something I’ve always known, but my reporting experiences have convinced me of it even more: average people are way smarter than those in power often give them credit for, and they are capable of greater acts of inspiration and/or bravery than they might have imagined. The inspiration and bravery they have to find in themselves, but the information they need is on us to provide.

What are some stories you worked on recently that you’re proud of?

In my current beat, I’m often most proud of the people I get to write about, rather than my own stories per se. For example, this week, I did a story about Dr. Aqeel R. Dix, a Lincoln University professor who taught class holding student Imani LaMarr’s baby so she wouldn’t miss class. He then became her mentor. He is an educator who is the change he wants to see in the world. The other week, I wrote about Melissa Laurino, who grew up working class with a passion for the sea creatures in her native New Jersey. She created a career protecting those creatures and educating others about them.

And going from those high bars to the very low, earlier summer I swallowed my pride (and fear) and took an adult riding class offered by the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia and did a story about learning to ride a bike well past, shall we say, the normal age. Granted, it wasn’t nearly the level of accomplishment of the people I usually write about. But it was my first time being photographed on my butt on the ground for a story. And I did learn to ride.

What are some things you’re keeping an eye on in the near future?

I want to write about young people who are growing up as gender minorities. Their voices should be heard.

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

I love to travel, especially abroad, but the pandemic has curtailed that. So I’ve been doing more exploring regionally and visiting friends and family in other parts of the U.S. I also love to eat, and Philly is a great food town. It’s a lot of fun discovering new places, including small ethnic restaurants that have been around forever, with my friends or my kids. And even though I do it for a living, I love to write and read. The written word has always been my special place.

Email Rita Giordano at and follow her on Twitter at @ritagiordano.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for sharing!

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

What to buy while the PLCB is limiting sales of some alcohol

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is rationing sales for 42 wine and spirits products, limiting purchases to two bottles a day per customer. For most people, this isn’t too big of a hassle. But if you need to stock up for an event or party, this might change your plans. The bottles listed only represent 2% of the PLCB’s total list of available products, so you have plenty of other options. Here’s what you can buy instead if you need more than the limit.

What we’re…

  1. Eating: June BYOB in Collingswood is giving classic French dishes, and the chef’s dream, a new life.

  2. Drinking: Where are the best happy hours in Philly? Here’s our list of more than 25 places for deals on drinks in every neighborhood.

  3. Anticipating: Will Smith is coming home to Philly to launch his book tour in November.

  4. Exploring: The best things to do in Philly this weekend and next week. Remember to check the list, updated weekly, at

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