The lighting of the Rockefeller Center tree has been a New York tradition for decades. But just recently, a new tradition has sprouted up.
At Habitat, the tree is re-purposed for a number of charitable projects. Back in 2008, the tree was turned into wood cabinets for an affordable housing complex in Brooklyn.
Spokeswoman for Habitat for Humanity NYC, Beverly Cheuvront, says it still remains a special fixture for families living there.
"As one of the family members said, it's like Christmas everyday in my apartment," Cheuvront explains.
Last year, parts of the Rock Center Tree became the exterior walls for a Habitat house in Newburgh, New York.
Shayla Carlson is a spokeswoman for Habitat for Humanity International. She says by recycling and reusing its parts, the tree gets new life.
"[The Rockefeller Center tree] brings so much joy during the holidays, and this is a way to take those materials of that tree and turn it into something that can be bring joy for a lifetime," says Carlson.
The tree-giving tradition started back in 2007 after Hurricane Katrina.
Volunteer at Habitat home on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, New York.
Photo courtesy: Deborah Schwartz