There's only a week left to get your Christmas shopping done. Only five of those days have deliveries for the mail pipeline. If you want your contribution to Children's Hospital to be included in our Christmas tally, now's the time to send it.

Our annual fund drive continues until Jan. 31, 1980. So even if you can't run down to the mailbox today there's still plenty of time to help support some very important work.

That work is the funding of Children's Hospital.This pediatric facility provides the finest in health care and emergency services for any child in need. The 260-bed hospital is always operating at full capacity.

What makes Children's different, though, is their obligation to assist and care for those without money. "Need" at Children's Hospital means two things -- a child's need for medical treatment, and the need for a hospital that can assist those who may not be able to afford the cost.

Those who can't pay are never turned away. Children's Hospital spends millions of dollars every year on free medical care for patients who cannot afford it. The cost of this causes the famous "built-in-deficit," known by the hospital as "free care and collection losses."

Every Christman, District Liners remember their favorite cause with a letter to The Post. Last year, Bill Gold raised over $223,000. That's only a small portion of the over $4 million spent by Children's on free care to indigent children.

This year, with your help, we plan to do even better. But each and every District Liner has got to pitch in. I can't force you to open your checkbooks.

Happily, several businesses and organizations won't need any more convincing. Today's pipeline actually flowed with letters from concerned groups.

At the annual Christmas party of the Washington Alumnae of Gamma Phi Beta, the "basket" was passed, yielding $23. The children of several members have used the hospital, so the collection added a little holiday cheer to the party.

The Westleigh Citizens' association in Gaithersburg also heard from two members whose child was treated at Children's. Their story of the love and concern evident everywhere at the hospital inspired a $25 gift.

Employees of Kay Furniture Co. used an "old-faithful" method to raise their contribution. The familiar coffee fund produced $30 for the patients.

Sending $56 were the folks of the General Litigation Section, Lands and Natural Resources Division, at the Justice Department.

Members of the Crime Prevention Section of the National Retired Teachers Association used the other very famous method to raise their gift of $60. That, of course, is the non-exchange of greeting cards among office colleagues. A substantial fraction of the funds collected here originate this way.

Patriotic citizens belonging to the Southern Maryland Heritage Chapter of the Women's Army Corps Veterans Association sent $100. They wrote, "Hoping our contribution will help turn the trickle into a flood." It certainly will, but now we'll have to wait until other contributors "get the message."

"On behalf of our parent volunteers who give so willingly of their time," the officers of North Forestville Elementary School contributed $25 to be added to $94 in donations from the staff. Their total was $119. Many thanks to everyone at this civic-minded school.

Members of the Altrusa Club of Montgomery County held yard sales, bake sales, and Tupperware parties to gather $150 for Children's Hospital. That group has contributed annually to the hospital.

The staff at Deepwood Veterinary Centre in Clifton, Va., sent $250 to the shoebox. That amount was left after they decided in the middle of their mailing list not to forward any more "greeting ribbons" to their clients.

The Women of the Church of Our Savior in Hillandale, Md., "could not let the season go by without some contribution for the shoebox." They voted to send Children's Hospital $300 through "For the Love of Children."

Today's ten organizations rounded up $1,113 for the hospital. Another $2,553.68 was contributed by 79 District Liners, for a Tuesday total of $3,666.68. Added to the $20,160.22 already in the shoebox, we arrive at $23,826.90.

I'm not complaining, but that's still not enough on a daily basis to put us past last year's total. Let's all pull together for a final pre-Christmas push. Now's the time!

Remember, a contribution to Children's Hospital is tax-deductible and never fails to give the giver a sense of self-satisfaction. Please write your check today, and mail it to: Scott Chase, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW. Washington, D.C. 20071. Christmas is almost here -- Please don't forget the children.