ATLANTA -- 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."

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Donated to Habitat for HumanityHabitat used the 2007 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lumber to help build a home in Pascagoula, MS, 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 habitat.org.

Source: Habitat for Humanity International

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