The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree helps build a simple, decent and affordable home.
After the holiday season, the 78th annual Christmas Tree was milled into lumber in Rockefeller Plaza. The lumber will be 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, near the community of Mahopac where the tree grew.
“We are extremely pleased and grateful to Tishman Speyer for this donation,” said Marci Gurton, Director of Development, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh. “This lumber is so valuable because it will help a hard-working family in need of decent housing to own their own home. The special nature of this gift also raises awareness about the critical need for affordable housing in our community and the ongoing efforts for neighborhood revitalization.”
Habitat Newburgh focuses its work in the east end of the city, improving the area street-by-street by renovating abandoned houses and building new homes in partnership with low-income families. Newburgh is one of the most distressed urban areas in the country. To date, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh has built or rehabilitated 43 houses that 225 children and adults now call home and has added more than $8.3 million to assessed property values.
“The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a symbol of the holiday season for millions of people across the country and around the world,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Habitat for Humanity is both humbled and proud to have an ongoing role in this great tradition, and with the help of volunteers, we will see that the lumber is put to good use to bring hope to a family in the form of better housing.”
“We are delighted to donate the lumber from the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to Habitat for Humanity for the fourth consecutive year," said Thomas Madden, Managing Director, Tishman Speyer. "During the holiday season thousands of people from around the world come to visit Rockefeller Center to view the tree and we are proud to see this holiday symbol live on and continue to bring joy to a deserving family in Newburgh.”
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.
The Christmas spirit in a Habitat house 
The 2008 tree was milled into lumber that was incorporated as shelving in Habitat NYC’s new affordable condominium complex. The tree will live on as part of 41 Habitat for Humanity New York City homes that were built in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York.
2009 Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting