ATLANTA, Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- For the fifth consecutive year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity to help build a simple, decent and affordable home.
The 79th annual Christmas tree will be milled into lumber after the holiday season and will return to its home state of Pennsylvania to be used in the construction of a Habitat home in Philadelphia.
"We're thrilled to be receiving the Rockefeller Tree and grateful to Tishman Speyer for this donation," said Frank Monaghan, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia. "We know the tree will bring as much joy to a Habitat family as it has to the visitors of Rockefeller Center."
Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia has built 157 homes since it was founded in 1985. Habitat Philadelphia focuses its efforts on building multiple homes in a community to transform entire neighborhoods one block at a time. Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia's vision is a city where all Philadelphians live in safe, affordable homes.
"The beloved tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree brings joy to people around the world," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "We are so grateful that once again the lumber from the tree will help build a home, strengthen a community and offer a family a better future."
Habitat used the 2007 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lumber to help build a home in Pascagoula, Miss., in partnership with a Hurricane Katrina survivor. Lumber from the 2008 tree was used to help build shelving in a multi-unit building constructed by Habitat for Humanity – New York City. The 2009 Rockefeller Christmas tree lumber was used in the construction of a home in Stamford, Conn. Last year's tree was used for the framing of exterior walls of a home built by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, located in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York.
A new children's book, "The Carpenter's Gift," written in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity and published by Random House Children's Books, celebrates the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. It is a story of a young boy in Depression-era New York who wishes for a decent home for his family. "The Carpenter's Gift" shares a lesson about the importance of neighbors helping neighbors. The book is available at major booksellers. A special edition made with paper milled from the 2010 is available at www.habitat.org.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God's love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org, or follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org or join Habitat's blog community at www.habitat.org/blog.
About Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia
Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia has completed 157 homes. Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia's mission is to transform lives and our City by building quality homes in partnership with families in need and by uniting all Philadelphians around the cause of affordable housing. For more information, please visit www.habitatphiladelphia.org.
About Tishman Speyer
Tishman Speyer is the co-owner and manager of Rockefeller Center, the world-famous real estate, shopping and dining complex in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Rockefeller Center is the site of numerous public exhibits and events, including large-scale installations of public art by world-renowned artists including Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons and Jonathan Borofsky. Tishman Speyer has earned a worldwide reputation for innovative utilization of public art in its signature commercial properties, which include Rockefeller Center and Chrysler Center. Tishman Speyer is committed to the preservation and restoration of Rockefeller Center and the historic Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center, one of New York's top attractions. Each day an estimated 350,000 people visit the Rockefeller Plaza complex, which during the holidays is home to the most famous Christmas Tree in the world.
SOURCE Habitat for Humanity International