Tree of Hope 2009

A Global Holiday Project Promoting Peace, Love & Humanitarianism
by Rainbow World Fund

Press Release

Hi-res Photos & press Materials available at:

Press Contacts:

Jeff Cotter, Executive Director (415) 608-5333 /

For Immediate Release PDF version



From World Leaders To School Children, Thousands Send Wishes Of Hope
To Decorate World’s Most Unique Holiday Tree

With Message “We Are One Human Family”

[San Francisco, CA, December 20, 2013] – San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and First Lady Anita Lee join the Rainbow World Fund (RWF) to invite the people of the world to submit wishes to decorate the World Tree of Hope in San Francisco City Hall’s Grand Rotunda. A unique and inspirational feature of San Francisco’s holiday season since its inception in 2006, the World Tree of Hope has evolved into a global symbol of unity and hope for a better world. 

The World Tree of Hope is the largest origami decorated holiday tree in the world, standing 22 feet tall and decorated with over 12,000 origami cranes and stars each hand folded and inscribed with wishes for the future of the world.


The tree is a gift to the world from the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trangender) community. It is created by Rainbow World Fund to inspire hope and to encourage people to think about what they would like for the future of the world, and then take action.


Designed as the world's most unique holiday tree, people world wide can help decorate the tree by simply sharing their wish for the future. Wishes are sent in from around the world by mail and online at The wishes are then printed and folded into origami cranes by an extremely diverse team of volunteers including members of San Francisco's LGBT and Japanese American communities, survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, local children, and life-sentence prisoners from San Quentin. The origami "crane wishes" are then placed on the tree. Submitting a wish for the tree is free and open to everyone. Wishes will be added to the tree throughout December and are accepted year round. Over three hundred people come together, donating over 2,500 hours to create the tree. Press information and tree photographs can be found at


The tree is inspired by the story of Sadako Sasaki, the child whose journey and death several years after the bomb was dropped in Hiroshima, transformed the origami crane into a symbol of world peace (see Sadako's story below).

Notable wishes on the tree include President Barack Obama, Dame Jane Goodall, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Arianna Huffington, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Isabel Allende, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Mariela Castro, Shirley Temple Black, Frances Moore Lappe, Danielle Steel, Patty Duke, Sharon Gless, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Phyllis Diller, Stanlee Gatti and RuPaul. Wishes from the President to school children, from San Francisco to Sri Lanka, make the World Tree of Hope a powerful expression of people coming together to create better a world. See sampling of wishes at

"I wish for a world for our children more just, more fair, and more kind than the one we know now."
President Barack Obama

"I dare to wish for a world in which people live in harmony with each other and with the natural world and all the wondrous animals with whom we share the planet."

Dame Jane Goodall


“My wish is to live in a society where marriage equality is a reality for all & where American families are treated with respect and dignity.”

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

"My wish is for us all to stop waiting on others to right the wrongs of our time and instead turn to the leader in the mirror. It is only by tapping into our own leadership potential that we can remake the world."

Arianna Huffington, Author, Syndicated Columnist and Commentator

"I wish male fashion designers would be forced to wear the stuff they create for women, like stiletto heals. And that  all politician would have to live by the rules and laws they come up with for the rest of us. Like the ones on food stamps and minimum wage."

Isabel Allende, Author

"My wish is for the freedom of the Cuban 5."

Mariela Castro, Director of CENESEX, Havana, Cuba

"I hope that our City can be successful in fulfilling the hopes of all of our diverse communities and exemplify a higher love of civic pride, strong neighborhoods and respect for each other."

Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco

"I wish it will snow in the morning so nobody does not have to go to school for 2 weeks!"   Michael, 13, Long Island, New York

The World Tree of Hope will be available for public view in San Francisco City Hall from December 1, 2013 to January 2, 2014. RWF and the City of San Francisco would like to acknowledge the Delancey Street Foundation for generously donating the 22ft White Fir tree this year.

About Rainbow World Fund
Founded in 2000, RWF ( is an international humanitarian charity based in the LGBT and friends community. RWF's mission is to promote LGBT philanthropy in the area of world humanitarian relief. RWF works to help people who suffer from hunger, poverty, disease, oppression, and war by raising awareness and funds to support relief efforts and sustainable development projects around the world.

RWF currently supports projects focusing on global HIV/AIDS, water development, landmine eradication, hunger, education, orphans, and disaster relief worldwide. RWF is the first and only LBGT based humanitarian aid organization. RWF also works to raise awareness of the charitable contributions of the LGBT community, and to establish connections with non-LGBT communities. RWF programs increase LGBT visibility, serving as a platform for LGBT compassion and concern.

RWF’s philosophy is that we are all “One Human Family” and that we are living in a time that tells us that our survival on this planet depends on us all giving more to each other. We bring people together who believe that together we can heal the world. We believe that LGBT people like all people have a unique role in world healing. RWF is part of that healing. We are working to change the separation consciousness that is underlying the disparity in the world – how people feel divided in the world today – by racism, sexism, homophobia, and so on. RWF is about remind people that we are really all part of one big global family and the we need to help each other.

Sadako's Story and the Significance of the Origami Crane
In 1955, the origami crane became an international symbol of peace when the world learned the story of Sadako Sasaki. Ten years after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, 12 year old Sadako contracted leukemia. While in the hospital, a friend told her about a Japanese legend that the folder of a thousand paper cranes would be granted one wish. Sadako started folding but grew weaker with time. Her wish to be healed grew into a wish for peace for all the world. Sadako passed away and was 356 cranes short of her goal. Her classmates folded the rest and all 1,000 were buried with her. On the wings of her cranes Sadako would write messages. One deeply profound message read, "I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world." Her hope, strength and determination have inspired millions to this day. A children's campaign honoring Sadako's hope, strength and determination led to the creation of the Children's Peace Monument in Hiroshima's Peace Park.

"The World Tree of Hope taps into two of our most powerful resources – the human mind and heart – to give individuals a way to join together to express our hopes and intentions for the future of our global community." says RWF Executive Director, Jeff Cotter.

Submit Your Wish
Wishes for the World Tree of Hope can be sent to Rainbow World Fund, 4111 - 18th St. #5, SF, CA 94114 or via the RWF website: Wishes are collected year-round and are added to the tree throughout December. Wishes may also be recorded in the guest book at San Francisco City Hall.

INFO: 415-431-1485 or




WHAT: Rainbow World Fund presents...

THE WORLD TREE OF HOPE - A 22-foot holiday tree decorated with thousands of white origami cranes, each containing written wishes of hope & peace from children and individuals from around the world. Wishes can be submitted online for free at The wishes are printed, folded into origami cranes and placed on the tree. Be part of this unique symbol of global unity and hope! 

WHEN: THE WORLD TREE OF HOPE will be on public view from December 1, 2013 – January 2, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE: San Francisco's City Hall Rotunda
1 Dr.Carlton Goodlett Place (Van Ness & Grove Sts.) SF 94102

Wishes will be added to the tree throughout December 2013. Submitting a wish is free!


MAIL WISHES TO: Rainbow World Fund, 4111 - 18th Street #5, San Francisco, CA 94114

INFO: 415-431-1485 or

YouTube - Invitation to Hope:

YouTube - 2013 Time Lapse of Tree Being Decorated:

Press Links

PDF of press release

Images & Assets
Hi-res Images

Do you have a wish?
A video invitation to Hope

A time lapse video of 2013 being decorated

2006  World Tree of Hope

2007 World Tree of Hope

2008 World Tree of Hope

2009 World Tree of Hope

2010 World Tree of Hope

2011 World Tree of Hope