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2,400 pounds of food collected in Express Employment drive
Nick Howard

The Rhode Island Community Food Bank was the recipient of more than 2,400 pounds of food as a result of a food drive by Express Employment Services earlier in the month. The drive by the Warwick franchise was part of a national campaign “Brand It Blue Day” that will continue through Aug. 15. 

“What made the real difference was the personal effort they made going door to door,” said Cindy Elder, director of communications for the Food Bank, reflecting on Express’ success.

Lilianna V. Dolan, owner of Express, credits the success of the drive to the sales team and has a lot of pride in the work that they did. The team went door to door, cold calling clients and just showing up with the hope they would be able to help out.

Dolan calls this campaign one of the company’s best, saying that the “community came out to support.” She hopes that local businesses and individuals will keep up the support and continue to welcome Susie Esposito, business developer for the franchise, when she comes to their doors.

Elder thought it was nice to see the work performed and considered it a very personable approach and hoping they can set an example.

This is not the first time Dolan and her franchise have worked with charities in Rhode Island. She annually supports the Make A Wish Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network.  

Following the food drive, Express will run a drive for “Dress For Success,” a non-profit that provides business clothes to those who simply do not have what they need to go for a job interview or work in an office setting. Continuing her charitable work at Christmas time, Dolan donates to charities in lieu of giving her clients gifts.

Dolan extends a helping hand to the community because she feels that “no families should have to struggle to eat.” She wanted to work with the Food Bank because of its impact here in the state and its initiative to support summer programs for kids. Dolan conducts her work with charity guided by the principles that “we’ve got to help our own” and “anything to be done with kids.”

This inclination comes out of the tragic fact that she was unable to have as many children as she originally envisioned. Her late husband Barney was diagnosed with cancer while Dolan was pregnant with their daughter and in her words, “cancer stopped us.” Dolan and her husband shared a love for children and now she has become a surrogate godparent for all of his godchildren.  It is her stance that “if they are not my godchildren, I make them mine.”

Dolan chooses to focus on Rhode Island because through 25 years in the business of employment services, such temp work, offering health insurance and filling vacancies at companies, she has seen the hardships that Rhode Islanders face on a daily basis.

She believes in the state and its ability to prosper despite difficult times. She asserts, “we’re a state of hope” and not limiting that optimism to the areas of “food and jobs.”

Following the food pickup, Dolan walked back into her building, rallying her employees with, “We’re helping to feed, now let’s put people to work.”  

Donations can be dropped off during business hours at the office at 110 Jefferson Blvd. Suite E.


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