Emily Bissell designed the first Christmas seal, which was only one contribution in a varied career of community service. She developed the first free kindergarten, the first children's playground, and the first gymnasium for boys in the State of Delaware. Bissell also assisted with Delaware's first child labor commission, organized the Delaware Children's Bureau, established the Delaware Chapter of the American Red Cross, and lobbied to limit the working hours of women in industry. The first effort to sell Christmas seals was unsuccessful. Bissell persuaded a Philadelphia journalist to publicize the project. His editor aided in the project and returns were more than 10 times the amount needed.