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What did 2020 teach you, Desiree Gagliardotto?

The New Port Richey woman started a nonprofit serving children needing clothes. In just two years, she's sent gift bags to kids in 48 states.

ELFERS, Fla. — 2020 has been a tough year for nonprofits. Giving is down across the nation as a result of job losses and uncertainly surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yet, Desire Gagliardotto has seen the donations continue to pour into her outreach.

“For Little Llamas Ministry, what happened when people were taught to be still, they were looking for things to make a difference,” said Gagliardotto. “We actually have more donations coming in from out of state.”

Gagliardotto started Little Llamas Ministry in 2018 as a way to help support mothers of young children. A mother of three herself, Gagliardotto felt God had called her to extend a helping hand to other women embarking on the journey of motherhood.

“Since the very beginning, like I have said, God has placed on my heart and I want it to be whatever God wants it to be,” she said back in February when we first shared her story. “God’s in motion.”

In the months that followed, Little Llamas Ministry has seen growth. Donations have come in from across the nation. Gagliardotto and her family spent hours each week bagging and shipping clothing from their converted garage, affectionately nicknamed "Llama Land." She chose the llama logo for her business because so many children’s clothes have the animal printed on them, and she thought they just looked so cute.

The nonprofit's impact has been felt across the United States. Gagliardotto shipped her first package in October 2018. The donated clothing goes to children sized from newborn to 4T in 48 states. To date, 610 babies have registered with Little Llamas and received a package from Gagliardotto.

“I did not feel equipped to do what I’m doing but God provides what you need every step of the way,” Gagliardotto said. “It seems like the more you give, the more you get, even though until you do it you don’t realize it.”

The biggest need now is finding a space to permanently house all of the donations. The surplus has outgrown Gagliardotto’s makeshift workroom in her home. She has been working out of storage units, but that hasn’t been efficient to her liking. She’s hoping someone from the community will donate a space for her to continue the mission of Little Llamas USA. She has always seen her outreach as “whatever God wants it to be” and is confident a workspace will materialize for the nonprofit.

She’s also asking for donations to help with the shipping. Little Llamas USA began shipping in boxes rather than bags in 2020. The change makes shipping easier but also more expensive. Each box requires about $15 to ship. A single donation makes the gift possible from the organization. Gagliardotto set up a PayPal account to help gather funding.

“2021 looks like the year of big blessings for Little Llamas USA,” she said. “We have many women coming forth wanting to start local chapters in their hometowns.”

In a year unlike many others, 2020 taught her never to doubt your faith or the help of others.

“If I can do it, you can do it,” she said.

Little Llamas Ministry is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Elfers, Fla. Its IRS Tax ID number is 83-4337822. The mission’s inspirational bible verse comes from Luke 9:48, which reads, “Then he said to them, 'Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest (NIV).'”