Our Children's Hospital shoebox held $214,580.79 when space ran out yesterday.

Today, Cub Scout Pack 861 of Falls Church gets us off to a flying start with $100 and the comment, "Glad you didn't have to join the Foreign Legion."

Employees of the Finance Division of GSA's Region 3 collected $110 for the hospital by not sending each other holiday cards. The same procedure diverted $120.50 to the children when it was employed in the General Legal Services Division at IRS. And the staff of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute raised $125.67 with the very same plan.

Our next contribution is on the tally sheet as $259 because one man rounded up all of it. He collected $109 in the 7900 block of 25th Avenue in Adelphi, $25 from a Lions Club bowling team, $25 from employees of SWAT ("specialists with a trade" -- retired policemen who are now in the home improvement business) and $100 from the Nav-Sea Bowling League. Remind me to credit that $100 to Navy's total.

Under the umbrella of the D.C. Congress of Parents and Teachers, children from more than 70 schools went caroling for Children's Hospital during the Christmas season. The school system's Region I (Far Southeast) raised $267.51; Region II (Southwest and Far Northwest), $253.94; Region III (Southeast, Far Northeast), $182.06; Region IV (Near Northeast, Northwest, Southeast), $77.95; Region V (Northwest), $359.96; and Region VI (Northeast, Upper Northwest) topped all its rivals with $558.58. Total: A whopping $1,700.

Credit today's biggest blockbuster to undergraduates at The American University. The campus radio station, WAMU-AM, staged its usual around-the-clock, week-long campaign for sick children and raised a very healthy $2,587.31. Some of the money was paid by listeners who called in song requests, some arrived in response to recorded pleas from celebrities, and "one of our biggest money raisers, as usual, was the pie throw." For $5, a donor was permitted to hit his favorite target in the face with a pie.

If it were not for a few last-minute additions to the Navy and Bell System totals, my story would now be finished. But after my Telephone Company column was published, additional Bell units began reporting in. Good old "Miscellaneous" gave $100. The Directory Division sent in $110. The Revenues Division raised $241 from its Rates and Tariffs unit and $425 from Cost & Economics. Service Order Systems Staff chipped in $194.50. Downtown Buildings Group added $40.

The Controllers Operations Division flooded me with checks. Its Data Systems Staff identified $110 as coming from IDP, $202.50 from DCAS and $210.80 from DSPS. Corporate Accounting & Business Research contributed $101 and Taxes gave $93. Auditing & Security's total was $72. Under Data Processing, credit $127.80 to CRIS, $137 to Data Processing Support and $15 to FCO. From Ocean City came $10 from a retired phone worker who asked that the gift be added to Ma Bell's total, to counter the Navy's USS Miscellaneous.

The additional Bell System gifts therefore came to $2,189.60 which, when added to its previously reported $17,858.67, made the telephone total $20,048.27. Temporarily, that gave Ma Bell the lead over Navy, whose total had stood at $19,747.24.

But Navy was not to be denied. After being No. 2 for ages, Navy tried harder this year and won out at the final whistle.

The USS Miscellaneous sent in another $7, Naval Research added $20 to its total, the Naval Air Systems Command found another $50, Branch 67 of the Fleet Reserve Association contributed $60, and personnel at the David W. Taylor Naval Research and Development Center raised $98.

Together with that $100 from the NavSea bowlers mentioned above, this would have been enough to give Navy this year's title by a whisker, but Naval Material Command Hq. really nailed it down. It came through with $957.95, and its Strategic Systems Projects unit added $593.27 for a NavMat total of $1,551.22 and a grand total for Navy units of $21,633.46. Well done!

Today's newly reported gifts add up to $8,978.30 to make the final total in the shoebox $223,559.09 -- up about 9 percent from last year, or in other words just barely enough to keep pace with inflated costs.

I am deeply grateful to every person who helped, and I am especially grateful to those of you who cheered me on with good wishes and kind words. I wish I could express my thanks to each of you in person.