March 2022 News from Core Virtues

As we begin to venture outdoors this month (see our poem, "March Weather"), we turn outward with our virtues too, spotlighting the other-focused virtues of compassion, faithfulness, and mercy. We find those virtues realized in this month's heroine (Clara Barton), and in the many of the women spotlighted in the Women's History Month tab. Compassion and mercy also cause us to mourn events in the Ukraine and inspire us to help. As we broach the difficult topic of oppression and war with our students, don't forget to offer them hope from past times, when tyranny was defeated. We feature below a true story of the Berlin Airlift. Finally, as an exemplar of faithfulness (to Ireland and its people) we recommend that March 17 hero, St. Patrick.

Mercy in Action


Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot:  A True Story of the Berlin Airlift.
When Stalin’s Soviet Union attempted to starve out West Berlin (1948), Allies rushed supplies by air to the city. One pilot dropped candy in parachutes for the children.  This is the touching true story of a German girl (Mercedes) who was unable to snag one of the bars in the competitive drop, but wrote to the pilot (find out how), and was rewarded with a box all her own.  Thirty years later she invites him to dinner! Because of the complexity of the political background, this is an older children’s picture book, but it is heartwarming reminder that acts of mercy matter and oppression can be defeated.  Marvelous illustrations.


If you are moved to an act of mercy for Ukrainian children, consider a donation to Save the Children, which is one of the top-rated charities in the United States. That organization's Ukraine Crisis Relief fund is focusing on the needs of 800,000 children caught in the middle of the conflict-- both refugees and those still trapped in the battle zone. 


Heroine​ of Mercy

This month we're showcasing battlefield nursing pioneer and American Red Cross founder, Clara Barton.  An inspiring new picture book follows determined Clara to the Battle of Antietam. 

That Civil War battle marked America's bloodiest day and the beginning of Barton's wartime nursing career. In a bold move, the War Department gave Barton permission to precede the supply wagons to the battle and surge first into its fray to rescue the wounded.  Her experience led not simply to her reputation as "Angel of the Battlefield" but eventually to her work founding the American Red Cross.

Telling Our Stories 

What do compassion, faithfulness, and mercy mean when a small, free nation suffers an unprovoked invasion by its aggressor neighbor? Read More