A lot of things have changed since this column was born on Jan. 13, 1947.

For example, in January of 1947, Friday the 13th fell on a Monday. Things are worse now because Friday the 13th is always more unlucky when it falls on Fridays.

One of the changes for the better is that in those days when you were late for work there were few acceptable excuses.Now we have Metro.

Another big improvement is in the way money comes in for Children's Hospital. In 1947, people sent me a dollar or two to list their Give-Away Kittens and Puppies. Now I get much larger cnecks.

For example, the U.S. Postal Services staff at Bluemont, Va. "22012" sent me a Postal Money Order for $15. A $20 check bore the notation, "The Sunshine Club of the Data Processing Division, Community Services Administration." The electronic abacus personnel at Chafitz, Inc., gave me $42 worth of work for my own abacus.

Would you believe that kindergarten children at Rosecroft Park Elementary School (Oxen Hill) were able to round up $48.02 for the children at the Hospital? You'd better believe it, or the totals at the end of this column will be out of whack.

The coffee fund in HUD's Title 1 Branch, Adjustment Section, sent me $50 worth of medical help for a needy child. Another $50 was contributed by the Eleanor's Town and Country stores in McLean and Vienna. No intramural holiday card exchange in the Branch of Photogrammetry of the Geological Survey's Topographic Division netted $81 for the hospital.

Do you know what happened to the square dance club known as Capital Wheelways? It disbanded in 1977, that's what happened to it. Do you know what happened to the $72.25 the Wheelways had in their treasury? You don't? Well, I ain't gonna tell you. (But you'll find their $72.25 included in today's totals.)

There was no in-house card exchange at Paktron (a division of Illinois Tool Works) in Vienna, and as consequence $75 arrived for the children. Another Geological Survey unit checked in, this time the Computer Center Division, which chipped in $77.

Three-digit contributions were unheard of in the days of the Give-Aways, but now they are plentiful enough to make our daily tallies sizzle. Our first for today is a $110 postscript to a previously recorded gift (of $3,000) from the men and women of the Melpar Division of E-Systems Inc. Today's $110 is from people who were on vacation when the original collection was made.

At the National Geographic, which turns out what is probably the best color photo work in America, employees in Photographic Serivce refrained from swapping $131 worth of holiday cards with each other. The no-cards plan was also used in the Construction-Operations Division of the the Directorate of Civil Works in the Army's Office of the Chief of Engineers, and the saving there was $134. Employees of Professional Business Management, Inc., raised $165 with their agreement not to exchange ih-house cards, and in the National Weather Service's office of Technical Services, Engineerign Division, the no-cards yield was $166. I used to have to find homes for 186 kittens to earn that much for the hospital.

With the future of the Renegotiation Board uncertain, its employees might have been excused for boarding their cash this year, but they chipped in $235 for the hospital anyhow. A tip of the hat to you, ladies and gentlemen, and I hope everything comes up roses for you.

Employees of the Carey Winston Co. held a raffle that netted the children $304. My old friends in the metropolitan Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division came through as they always do, on duty or off. Their $342 contribution this year came from these seven units: Robbery, $60; Sex offenses, $41; Homicide, $88; Administrative, $38; Check and Fraud, $24; Major Violators, $25; and Burglary $88. Hey! For once, Homicide wasn't tops.

The two biggest contributions of the day came from the United States International Trade Commission, where no card exchange earned $678.50 (up 50 per cent from last year), and from personnel in the Office of the Corporation Counsel who declined to send each other an amazing $877.50 worth of cards. What a great boost they gave the abacus!

It says 20 groups gave $3,653.27 and 26 individuals added $389.67 to bring today's total to $4,542.94. Inasmuch as we began the day with $120,507.78. in the shoebox, it now holds $125,050.72. If you'd like to help us reach $175,000 by Jan. 31, your tax deductible gift will be gratefully received. Thank you.