Women helping each other on this special Habitat for Humanity Women of Impact Build Day

RENTON, Wash. — On this Mother’s Day weekend, dozens of volunteers came together in Renton. But this was no ordinary Habitat for Humanity build day.

“A lot of our homeowners are single moms and it’s a great way to empower women, to show them they can have an impact,” Jahna Smith said.

It’s a full circle moment for Smith. She was a single mom when she helped build her own Habitat home nearly 20 years ago.

“It was really exciting but it was a lot of work. I had to put in, back then it was 500 hours of sweat equity where I physically went out to help build my home,” Smith explained.

KIRO 7 Morning Anchors Michelle Millman and Tracey Leong also turned out on this Saturday.

The build is meant to showcase the challenges that women face in owning a home, teach some construction skills and call attention to the need for more affordable housing.

“Two thirds of Habitat homeowners are single moms. And they have special challenges, extra challenges in order to be first time home buyers,” said Brett D’Antonio, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County.

For Smith, volunteering always reminds her of how far she’s come. She’s also on the non-profit’s board of directors.

“This program had such a huge, dramatic impact and change on my life. I would not be where I was today without it and I love to be able to give back,” Smith added.

There are 300 Women Build projects across the United States, Canada and India.