In every Children's Hospital fund campaign since Year 1, the "office group" that has given more money than any other has been Mother Bell's children at the Telephone Company. So the status of the AT&T collection is always of interest.

Be advised that I will be meeting with Bell employees this afternoon to complete the tally on their 1978 contributions.However, there are always so many checks involved and so many departments represented that I'm not likely to have my report ready for you by tomorrow morning. Friday would be a better guess.

Meanwhile, we do have reports from 23 other groups, so let's get at them. The Fifth Grade Sunday School Class at Davidsonville (Md.) Methodist Church contributed $10 from money students earned by doing chores. Two Fairfax ladies, one 7 and the other 9, made "doll-sized pillows" from sewing scraps and sold them door-to-door out of a box that carried the sign, "All Proceeds Donated To Children's Hospital." Their enterprise netted $12.

No intramural holiday card exchange in the National Weather Service's Test and Evaluation Division brought in a check for $20 plus the message, "Sorry about all this ice and snow, but we're doing our best."

I'm sorry, too, but I don't accept excuses. Where's our January thaw?

The staff of the College Park Youth Services Bureau chipped in $22. No inhouse card exchange in Georgetown University's Department of Pharmacology diverted $23 to the hospital.

Four groups checked in at the $25 level. The first was a Sixth Grade Class at Clifton (Va.) Elementary School, which was given a choice of spending the $25 on a gift exchange or putting it to work in the service of needy children - and the vote wasn't even close. The second $25 came from the Giri Scout Cadettes of Troop 1403. The third $25 was raised by Metropolitan Washington Mensa at one of its parties. And the fourth $25 was from the staff of the Fair Lanes bowling center in Bowie. I hope they notice that I have been properly indoctrinated and refer to their establishment as a bowling center , not "alley."

There was $35 left over from a Christmas party held by employees of the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis. You'll never guess what they did with the money, so I'll have to tell you: they sent it to me for the children. "Physical Plant and Campus Police" at Prince George's Community College had $36 left over from their Christmas party, and this time I'm not going to tell you what happened to the money. See if you can guess.

Employees of the Material Technology Laboratory (it's part of the Army's Mobility Equipment Research and Development Command at Fort Belvoir) didn't exchange $42.50 worth of holiday cards among themselves. In its first year of experimenting with the no-cards plan, the Exchange Club of Washington refrained from exchanging $55 worth, and I'll bet you a strawberry soda they do better next year.

At the Kay's Sandwich Shoppe at 1738 G St. NW, employees pay for their personal phone calls by dropping some coins into a Children's Hospital collection box. This year's take was $67.70. The Chevy Chase Business & Professional Women's Club passed up its inhouse gift exchange as usual in order to divert $70 to the hospital. The Harry Homeowners in the Hechinger Co. Central Office pooled $83.41.

Employees of Hillcrest Sales in Clinton, Md., didn't send each other $115 worth of holiday cards. The same plan was good for $147.50 when it was used by 23 employees of the AMF Electronics Division in Herndon. The Berwyn (Md.) Woman's Club took $150 from its treasury for the children.

Each year the Family Division of the D.C. Superior Court refrains from exchanging more in-house cards than the year before, and this year these child-oriented people raised $205 for the hospital. The no-card plan was good for $223 from members of the National Capital Club Managers Association. The Southern Railway System tied down the whistle on its Children's Hospital Express and delivered $307.25 right to my door.

Just when it appeared that the Southern would win top honors for today, a messenger arrived from the Federal Trade Commission with a thick wad of checks that added up to $616.50. A tip of the hat to you, FTCers.

The abacus says these contributions total $2.340.86 and that 38 anonymous individuals added $690.80 to bring today's total to $3,031.66. Having begun the day with $154,789.11, we now have $157,820.77 in the shoebox. Last year's grand total was $175,235.70.