"Enclosed is our second annual family contribution to Children's Hospital," the letter began. "As last year, the family decided to donate a dollar for each year of good health.

"Our three sons, ages 4, 8 and 10, willingly went to their savings and gave appropriately. The check contains an additional amount to represent their grandmother, who, at 89 young years, traveled from South Dakota to visit for the holidays.

"We hope this contribution may help bring others the joy of good health."

The letter contained a check for $205 and closed with wishes that the cordless abacus and inherited shoebox will be as effective in my care as they always were in Bill Gold's. Those are wishes I fondly share, but with January quickly reaching the halfway point, my anxiety is once again beginning to show.

The gift of $205 helped bring today's total from 32 always-anonymous individuals to $1,105.

Once again, the clout, in today's total came courtesy of the important and generous support of organizations and informal groups. Let's dig right in.

Members of the National Association of Temporary Services, Inc., gathered $20.64 at an office Christmas party by charging a 25 cent contribution for each swing taken at a pinata. "There was no trouble finding volunteers," they wrote. Sending $22.25 were the keglers of the Foxhall Ladies Bowling League in Wheaton.

Contributions of $25 each were received from three area businesses and from a singing quartet. The fine family of workers at D and D Duplicating sent the first $25. An equal amount arrived from employees of Reliable Delivery Service.A $25 check was forwarded by the folks at Call Carl Towing. Our singing group, the Federal City Four, happened past Children's Hospital on their way to a concert, and voted right there to contribute $25.

"Enclosed are checks and cash totaling $27 for Children's Hospital, an additional donation by the FBI's Technical Services Division by those who are better late than never."

You're telling me? Late won't be until the last trickle in the pipeline, which closes on Jan. 31.

But please don't procrastinate, District Liners. Get those "late" letters and contributions into the mailbox. The children are counting on you. l

The players at Silver Spring Duplicte Bridge Club remembered Children's Hospital again this year, this time with a contribution of $36. Employees of AID's Office of Commodity Management cut so many costs on their Christmas party that $40 was left over for the Hospital. Sending $43 were the kind folks at the National Bureau of Standards' Dimensional Meteorology Group.

Clean, unclaimed laundry sold by the employees of Alkat's Sunshine Center was the source of their $45 check for Children's. A bundle of checks totaling $46 was sent in by the staffers at the Computer Center Division of the U.S. Geological Survey. A $47 check originated from employees at the National Weather Service's Test and Evaluation Facility in Sterling.

A dozen carolers strolled the neighborhood in Mt. Vernon Manor Estates and collected $50 for the hospital. Sending $55 were the Quesada Street Christmas Carolers of Northwest Washington. A gift of $58.54 came from employees of the Management and Resources Directorate of the Defense Investigative Service.

A check for $66 arrived from the employees of Holman and Stern. Members of Capital City Branch 67, Fleet Reserve Association, sent $67, and issued a "meet-or-beat" challenge to Arlington Branch 181. The staff at the Washington agency of Prudential Insurance sent $68.

"Once again, the staff of the Office of Audits and Investigations for Prince George's County has decided to make contributions to Children's Hospital in lieu of exchanging Christmas Cards. cPlease find enclosed checks for $107." I did, and thank you.

Raffling a ham raised $137 from the workers of the Appliance Service Department of the Washington Gas Light Co. Continuing a tradition for the eighth year with a contribution of $290 were members of the U.S. Army Management Systems Support Agency.

The first-place crown today went to the people of the Defense Communications Agency's Command and Control Technical Center elements located in Reston. "We got better organized this year and far surpassed (almost doubled) last year's effort," said their letter. Checks totaling $1,518.35 were enclosed. Would you care to send out information sheets on "getting organized" next year?

These 23 groups contributed $2,843.78. Together with the $1,105 sent in by our "anonymous" friends around town, today's total reaches $3,948.78. Inasmuch as the old shoebox held $123,068.81 yesterday, a shake of the counters on my cordless abacus reveals $127,017.59 as our tally for today. Thanks, I'll see you tomorrow.