Ringing the Bell – Salvation Army style!


How to teach empathy and compassion to a toddler


Raising a kid is hard. I’m sure it has always been difficult, but with iPhones, electronic babysitters and more TV shows than one kid can handle, its hard to find balance.  How do you teach a toddler empathy or compassion … by ringing the bell – Salvation Army style!

Ringing the Bell


As parents we have been wanting to introduce our little one to community service. I saw a local volunteer opportunity and immediately signed us up.  One hour in a heated ‘foyer’ of a big box store handing out candy and ringing a bell…PERFECT!


Ringing the Bell


We each dawned our red aprons, filled our pockets with candies and started our shift. Our little 2 year old extrovert stole the show!   She rang her bell and handed out candy to everyone.


Ringing the Bell


After about 20 minutes she was exhausted. She sat on her little wooden stool and sang Christmas carols to people who donated.


At 2 years old she didn’t understand why we were there, the significance of what we were doing or who the donations will benefit, but she does learn from example. She smiled, sang songs and rang the bell that we have all come to recognize during the holiday season. Even at 2 years old she knows what its like to spread joy and love to others. That is what we wanted to teach our daughter.

How to teach empathy and compassion to a toddler


14 Replies to “Ringing the Bell – Salvation Army style!”

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says: Reply

    The Salvation Army is such a great organization. We always give when we can.

    1. It really is! We had a great time. It will definitely be a yearly tradition for us!

  2. I try to always have my girls put something in the Salvation Army Bucket when we go out of the stores. Even if it is only change. It is so cute that your daughter did it with you. I hardly ever see any kids helping with it. Cute photos!

    1. I had never seen kids out there either. People LOVED her!

  3. Aw, I love that you volunteered. She looks adorable in her little apron too. 🙂

  4. This is terrific. I recently started looking for volunteering opportunities to have “KidCongeniality” participate in. I never even thought of the Salvation Army because I thought they had their own regular workers. Thanks- I will have to look into our local chapter! Happy Holidays!

    1. Yeah! There is a link on the main webpage for ringing the bell… GOOD LUCK!

  5. What a wonderful idea! This is perfect! I agree, finding balance is really hard. We have got to check into this.

    1. There is a link on their main page to volunteer! Good Luck!

  6. what a neat idea and fun way to give back for you and her! We always give to Salvation Army!

  7. Awesome to see a child being brought up in such a fashion. Knowing Love, Kindness, Respect and all the other things a child should learn at an early age.

  8. Good for you. This can be a humbling experience for parents and child.

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