Be a Better Philadelphia Citizen

Here's how

One of the founding tenets of The Philadelphia Citizen is to get people the resources they need to become better, more engaged citizens of their city.

We hope to do that in our Good Citizenship Toolkit, which includes a host of ways to get involved in Philadelphia — whether you want to contact your City Councilmember about ensuring Philly’s small business ecosystem thrives, get those experiencing homelessness the goods they need, or simply go out to dinner somewhere where you know your money is going toward a greater good.

Find an issue that’s important to you in the list below, and get started on your journey of A-plus citizenship.

Vote and strengthen democracy

Stand up for marginalized communities

Create a cleaner, greener Philadelphia

Help our local youth and schools succeed

Support local businesses


To a special edition of CitizenCast

Welcome to Big Rube’s interview with MaryAnn Morris, creator of The DreamSleeve

And go here for more audio articles from CitizenCast

Big Rube’s Philly: The DreamSleeve

The Philly photographer, chef, and style forerunner reconnects with MaryAnn Morris, a longtime friend who’s pursuing her passion for fashion by hand-making a must-have accessory. Fabolous is a fan.

Big Rube’s Philly: The DreamSleeve

The Philly photographer, chef, and style forerunner reconnects with MaryAnn Morris, a longtime friend who’s pursuing her passion for fashion by hand-making a must-have accessory. Fabolous is a fan.

MaryAnn Morris and I first met when she was a teenager working as a shampoo girl in a barbershop / hair salon. I would go shop to shop, selling my cakes and fried chicken, and she patronized me. This was the 90s. She and I stayed in touch. She saw my evolution. And I saw hers.

I’m so proud of her. MaryAnn is an up-and-coming, on the rise. Her company, The DreamSleeve, has vision. She designs, sews and personalizes sleeves for your coffee or tea. Everybody walks around carrying some type of coffee. Every coffee cup needs a sleeve — and she’s doing it handmade and with passion.

MaryAnn Morris, a fashionista and Philadelphian, sits by a table holding a sewing machine, assembling a coffee cup sleeve.
Morris assembles a DreamSleeve.


MaryAnn grew up in West Philly on 55th between Arch and Race streets. After she and I met, she worked at Dr. Denim on South Street, then Oliver Peoples in the King of Prussia Mall. Now she’s at Louis Vuitton there.

She tells me, “I always loved fashion; I have a good eye. Typically, when I see something, if I really like it, it will be the next big thing. Even if it’s just what color’s going to sell.” One of her first big DreamSleeve sales was to Fabolous, the rapper and a friend.

“One morning I was getting up, listening to music. The song So Tuff had just dropped. As I was looking at my DreamSleeve, I’m thinking, What would I want to put on it today? So Tuff. I made one and took a few pictures before I went to work at the mall,” she says, “When I took a lunch break, I saw a like from Fabolous. I thought I was tripping. The next thing you know, he had sent me a message and was like, ‘Do you make these?’”


MaryAnn Morris, an African American designer from Philadelphia, sits in a chair holding her product, handmade coffee cup sleeves.
Morris and her mom, in the background.


A couple days later, Fab ordered one that said “Family,” one that said his son’s name …

MaryAnn loves tea, and started the company during the pandemic. She wants her DreamSleeves to make their owners feel good. “When you look at your cup, your unconscious mind is taking that in, that’s a good way to give yourself good motivation throughout the day,” she says.

I took her picture at the Dixon Meadow Preserve, which belongs to the Whitemarsh Foundation. The man behind this place also brought the LOVE sculpture to Philadelphia. [Editor’s note: the late Harvard professor and local philanthropist Fitz Eugene Dixon Jr.] This place is where MaryAnn used to come when she started making her sleeves.


MaryAnn Morris, wearing a green cardigan, sips out of a gold straw from a disposal coffee cup with a faux fur DreamSleeve.
Morris at Dixon Meadows Preserve.

West Philly born and raised with a slosh of Brooklyn New York in between, Big Rube partnered with Mitchell & Ness in 2000 to help make it a global brand marketing and selling high-end vintage jerseys. He has been photographing Philly since 2009, including in a Daily News Column from 2011 to 2017. He’s also a chef, operating Chef Big Rube’s Kitchen seven days a week at Pitcher’s Pub in Manayunk, selling the best handmade food in a Main Street dive bar.


The Philadelphia Citizen will only publish thoughtful, civil comments. If your post is offensive, not only will we not publish it, we'll laugh at you while hitting delete.

Be a Citizen Editor

Suggest a Story

Advertising Terms

We do not accept political ads, issue advocacy ads, ads containing expletives, ads featuring photos of children without documented right of use, ads paid for by PACs, and other content deemed to be partisan or misaligned with our mission. The Philadelphia Citizen is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and all affiliate content will be nonpartisan in nature. Advertisements are approved fully at The Citizen's discretion. Advertisements and sponsorships have different tax-deductible eligibility. For questions or clarification on these conditions, please contact Director of Sales & Philanthropy Kristin Long at [email protected] or call (609)-602-0145.