As I indicated yesterday, our campaign to raise money for Children Hospital has been picking up some steam.

"The proceeds of our Nail Biting Fund" brought $3.48 from McLean. Forty-five minutes of caroling by Brownie Troop 2127 of Beltsville ("It was too cold to stay out for the full hour we had planned on") produced $15.21. The Tuesday Bridge Club of Silver Spring exchanged no intramural Christmas gifts and instead diverted $20 to Children's Hospital. Employees of Giant Food Store Number 111 in Laurel added $20 more.

There are five $25 gifts in today's tally. One is from Beta Chapter of Delta Alpha Sorority; one from the Ladies Auxiliary of Scott Johnson Collins Post 9619 of the VFW; one from The Bridge Girls from Orleans Way; one from the Ladies Auxialliary of Fleet Reserve Association Unit 67; and one from the "coffee jar fund" of the Kay Furniture Co. in Arlington.

The Avon Ladies in Northern Virginia's District 603 chipped in $30 for the children. The Command and Control Group of the Raytheon Service Company's Arlington facility raised the ante to $38.39. A check for $43 arrived from several employees of the (shhhh!) CIA, which this column always assumed stands for "Child Improvement Agency." Employees of the United Insurance Co. of America office in Riverdale refrained from sending each other $44 worth of holiday cards.

"A bunch of us got together to observe the demise of A8 here at Ft. Meade," says a note with a $50 check attached. "This $50 was left over, and all of those who attended the A8 wake want it to go to Children's Hospital." I don't know what A8 was, but I'm glad it didn't die in vain.

Checks to totaling $73 arrived from the office of the Comptroller General of the United States with the explanation: "From executive wives, GAO, in lieu of exchanging Christmas cards." Members of the Brightwood Investment Club put $90 of their funds into an investment you won't find listed on the big board.

Employees of the Leon Office Machines Co. remembered the children with $100, and a similiar amount was raised by the Crystal Club of Arlington's Calvary United Methodist Church, whose members passed up a gift exchange to raise the money. No card exchange among employees of Suburban Trust's Electronic Data Processing Division in Hyattsville netted $179.50 for Children's Hospital.

The biggest gift of the day came from the Progress Club, a social group made up of small businessmen who support many charities. Their gift to Children's Hospital this year was $1,500.

If my abacus is functioning properly, these 20 groups have sent in $2,431; and 132 individuals (one of them a resident of the Soldiers Home who gave $500) added $3,367.58. Inasmuch as we began the day with $14,733.91, the shoebox now holds $21,101.49.