by Miryam Muller in

Every December, thousands of origami cranes adorn a large, 20-25 foot Christmas tree in the Rotunda of San Francisco City Hall. These cranes aren't just there for decoration, they're inscribed with well wishes for the future. The holiday project that began in 2006 has since evolved into a global symbol of unity and hope for a better world. It is organized by the Rainbow World Fund (RWF), the only international humanitarian aid organization that is based in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community.

"The World Tree of Hope joins together individuals of diverse cultures, points of view, spiritual beliefs, socioeconomic backgrounds and sexual identities, and 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," said Jeff Cotter, founder of the Rainbow World Fund.

Over the years, some notable wishes have included:

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

"I wish for a world where all people are treated with dignity, respect and equality – no matter who you are or who you love." - Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State