Children’s Story ‘The Bell’ Teaches Lessons of Love & Compassion

Photo Courtesy of

Salvation Army volunteer Scott Cornwell was ringing a bell for Christmas kettle donations in 2005 when he was inspired to tell the deeper meaning behind the iconic red kettles. Collecting donations at the Mall of America, he realized his bell was broken and needed repairing. It was at that moment that Scott realized the broken bell was symbolic of the very people The Salvation Army helps to restore each day.

This realization helped him create the children’s story The Bell – an illustrative way to teach children the importance of compassion and to provide better understanding of the bell ringing holiday tradition.

The story’s main character is Bella, a broken hand bell who is certain no one loves her because she’s unable to make a sound. Bella is downtrodden and broken; representative of the millions of Americans The Salvation Army seeks to help each day. Thanks to a kind man, Bella is eventually restored and able to make music again.

Bella’s story is not uncommon. Through the generosity of donors and the loving hearts of faithful volunteers, thousands of broken lives are repaired every day. This is the purpose of The Salvation Army: mending the lives and spirits of people in need – counseling, rehabilitating, and meeting basic needs.

This is why our red kettles started 120 years ago. Thousands of small donations really add up – $142 million was raised for the poor last year from our Christmas kettles! Donations are turned right around to serve the community in which they are raised.

So as the holidays approach and you see that dedicated bell ringer outside of your local store, we hope you’ll remember the story of The Bell. By simply donating your extra change, you’ll help restore the life and spirit of someone who truly needs a boost.

If you would like to share this touching story with a child, order your copy by visiting

*You can also download the e-book from Apple iBooks by Clicking Here!*

You can read stories of everyday “Bellas” by visiting The Bell‘s Facebook page. Feel free to post your own Bella story, share your bell ringing experiences, or post how your involvement with The Salvation Army is changing lives in your community. Click here to get started!


Are you looking for ways to give or volunteer? Please visit