By Karen Morfitt

DENVER (CBS4) – Two local nonprofits are coming together for Colorado moms — teenage moms who have successfully completed programs offered by Hope House of Colorado, a local organization providing self-sufficiency resources to young parents.

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(credit: CBS)

Dakota McGrath is one of those invited to attend the group’s annual fundraising gala.

“There were some nights where I was trying to get homework done and feeding my son and trying to eat myself,” she said.

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(credit: Dakota McGrath)

Three years ago, she was not worried about picking out the perfect dress or the right shoes for her high school dance. Instead, her life revolved around raising her little boy, PJ.

“He is the world’s biggest goof ball. He’s such a funny kid,” she said with a laugh.

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Dakota McGrath (right) (credit: CBS)

It was a struggle to graduate high school, leaving her unsure about her future. That is when she turned to Hope House of Colorado.

Founder Lisa Steven says last year alone they served nearly 200 teen moms.

“You name it, whatever we can do to help them be self-sufficient,” Steven said.

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(credit: CBS)

McGrath and more than a dozen other girls are among this year’s graduates.

“We are looking for dresses for the gala,” McGrath said.

Hundreds of dresses were hanging, dozens of shoes lined up and accessories on hand for them to choose from for their night at the group’s annual fundraising event.

All of it thanks to Bella Boutique, another nonprofit that helps low-income teens find the perfect outfit for special occasions which can be an unplanned expense.

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(credit: CBS)

Sally Shaughnessy leads the organizations daily operations says while there are plenty of resources for a family’s necessities, but there are few options when it comes to the extras in a teens life.

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“It’s all donated from the community… from bridal shops… from other boutiques,” she said about the boutique’s inventory.

McGrath who wasn’t sure what kind of gown she was looking for when she started, knew the right one when she saw it and left with the perfect silver ball gown for the black tie event.

The Hope House Gala is Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Hilton Denver City Center.

LINKS: Bella Boutique | Hope House of Colorado

Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.

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