We begin today with $133,850.30 in our Children's Hospital shoebox -- $2,346.89 ahead of last year's pace.

Now it is time to tally this year's contributions from U.S. Navy personnel. Last year the Navy set a record with donations of $17,061.45. To keep us on the plus side, Navy now will have to come close to equaling that record performance.

Help me with the tally: A check for $15 arrived marked "Information Systems Development Division of Management Information Systems/ADP Department, Hq., Naval Security Group Command." The Ladies Auxiliary of the Fleet Reserve Association, Unit 181, remembered the children again, this time with a check for $20.

The Surface Weapons Engineering Division at the Naval Ordnance Station sent me $21.61 left over from a Christmas party. The Engineering Management Department of the Naval Weapons Engineering Support Activity sent in $24.20. The Office of the Assistant Judge Advocate General gave $25. The Ladies Auxiliary of the Fleet Reserve Association, Unit 67, contributed $35.

"May your abacus overheat and your shoebox overflow" said a message that accompanied $40 from personnel of the Civilian Manpower Division, Office of Budget and Reports, Office of the Comptroller of the Navy.

The staff of the Records Branch at the Navy Federal Credit Union passed up a gift exchange to divert $61.25 to the hospital. In the Mechanisms Branch of the Naval Surface Weapons Center, the collection for the children came to $62. The decision not to exchange intramural holidays cards in the Tri-Service Medical Information System produced an $85 profit. The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations put together an $86.08 effort, with $16.08 of that amount raised in Research and Development and $70 in the Logistic Plans Division.

Last year the Joseph Wasson Chapter of the Naval Enlisted Reserve Association sent me $50 and a note that said, "We'll do better next year." This year the group sent me $100 and a note that said, "We'll do better next year."

Is your abacus overheated yet? Tell it to add $200 from the Navy Regional Contracting Office. Also $232.49 from the Defense Printing Service. Also $259 marked "CAD/PAD Department of the Naval Ordnance Station, Indian Head, Md." And $300 from Navy Regional Finance. And $317.92 from the Military Sealift Command. Plus $409.72 from the Navy-Air Force Cruise Missile Project Office.

Personnel from all over the world sent me contributions for our U.S.S. Miscellaneous category (including one group that signed itself, "A Marine Corps sea duty detachment"). However, a retired admiral preferred to be assigned to the U.S.S. Neversail. So the official record shows that Miscellaneous and Neversail together gave $535.

Ready for some big guns? The Naval Electronic Systems Command got up a kitty of $1,105 for the children. The Naval Supply Systems Command kept finding "supplemental" contributions until its total hit $1,520. Headquarters, Naval Material Command's first "final total" was also dwarfed by its final final total of $1,603.22. In fact, every one of the large Navy units managed to find supplementals for us.

The Naval Air Systems Command, which uses Cinderella's Glass Slipper to collect its checks for the hospital, collected $1,932.41 (well ahead of last year) and said, "Now you can transfer it to your shoebox."

The Naval Research Laboratory may think its final final total was $2,219.74, but it wasn't. It was $2,239.74.I received a $20 check right on deadline.

A late bulletin also awaits the skippers of two of Navy's largest and most generous units, NAVSEA (Naval Sea Systems Command) and NAVSEC (Naval Ship Engineering Center). When we counted the money in their offices at Crystal City, NAVSEA thought its absolutely final total was $3,389.60 and NAVSEC thought its was $4,405. But $723 subsequently arrived from NAVSEA and NAVSEC personnel who, "on Fridays only, paid 5 cents extra per doughnut." On my tally sheet, the $723 is apportioned equally between the two shops.

Despite the severe strain on my abacus, it held together to show a total of $19,662.24 in Navy gifts this year -- another new record for Navy. Our shoebox now holds $153,512.54, which is $4,947.68 more than it held at the close of Jan. 19, 1978.

Can the Navy hold a lead? You'd better believe it. The Navy's secret weapon is "second effort." Well done, Navy types. I love you one and all. You have made it possible for us to reach $200,000 by Jan. 31.