Christmas has come and gone, as it always does. Gone, but not forgotten. There are more than 300 shopping days until the 1980 version.
But "For the Love of Children" has a shorter lifespan, and only 32 reporting days are left in this year's drive. We must once again reaffirm our high level of responsibility to Children's Hospital District Liners established this tradition years ago with my mentor, Bill Gold.
He was able to record an annual increase in the total dollar amount of contributions received from District Liners from December 1st to the end of January during his thirty year sponsorship. The eventual results of my first stab at the "built-in-deficit" are as important to him as they are to me. f
The success of this column depends to good measure on the continued loyalty of District Liners to Bill and his ideas. Many of the letters I've received brought me thanks for freeing him to devote full attention to "The District Line" year round.
That's a bit backwards. It's me who's thankful for the opportunity to sit with the master himself night after night. To get a personal upper level course in journalism from Bill is a real bonus. And I get to learn all about Children's Hospital and relate it to my own readers.
Meanwhile, the youthful patients at Children's Hospital are hoping that with the release of holiday anxieties they won't be forgotten. We must move fast to dig our checkbooks out from under the discarded wrapping paper and reassure that fine crew over on Michigan Avenue that we're still with them.
The pipeline brought evidence of continued concern about our favorite pediatric facility by several offices and groups.
Employees of USE Corporation's very small Proposals Section gathered $11 for Children's Hospital by delivering personal Christmas greetings. They added $5 in bet money not accepted by a Dallas fan in the office, boosting their total to $16.
Caffeine lovers of the Procurement Branch, Data Processing Division, at the Defense Fuel Supply Center diverted $25 of profits made through the sale of "the fastest coffee in the East."
Members of the C.C.C. Pool in Silver Spring, Md., also remembered the young patients at Children's with a $25 check and their best wishes.
The kind folks over at Byron Motion Pictures bought $35 worth of homemade brownies from a co-worker, and sent the money to me for our favorite national medical center.
The hostage situation to Iran has kept many employees of the Department of State behind their desks extra hours this holiday season. Bill and I want to join them and all Americans in the hope that our countrymen will soon be home.
Two braches of the State Department found time to remember Children's Hospital despite the world turmoil. The professionals at the Office of the Historian collected $37 to help sustain the aid rendered to needy children. Their colleagues at the Foreign Affairs Document and Reference Center added $50 to assist the same good cause.
Finally we have a diplomatic initiative arising from the mists at Foggy Bottom that all Washingtonians can be rightfully proud of.
The day supervisors in E.P.D. at the Government Printing Office also contributed $50 to the hospital.
Another coffee fund, this one belonging the the guys and gals at the Labor Department's Division of Techneolgical Studies, yielded an excess of $70 to be used by Children's. The sender wrote, "And we still only charge 10 cents a cup!" I don't know how you do it, but please, keep up the good work.
The bowlers belonging to the Woodmont Country Club Bowling League passed the hat and collected $98.36. Nothing like a nice, even number to simplify things.
Today's blockbuster contribution was accompanied by a very brief message: "This contribution is made possible by the work and dedication of the employees of the Behuke Nurseries Company." The check was made out for $3,000!
The nursery is a Beltsville, Md., landmark. It was founded in 1930 by the same Mr. Belunke who runs it today.
These 10 groups together squeezed $3,406.36 into the shoebox. There's still plenty of room in there, though. The day's value of individual contributions from 106 District Liners totaled $2,255.93. That makes our daily take $5,662.29. Yesterday we left off with $56,905.17, so the shoebox now holds $62,567.46.
Christmas is gone, but we're still rolling. Don't forget to make your tax-deductible contribution to the hospital that helps any child in need. Please send your check, payable to Children's Hospital, to: Scott Chase, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Dozens of people that will never be able to thank you personally appreciate your generousity nontheless.