Yesterday we set a few yearly records in our 1980-81 fundraising drive for Children's Hospital National Medical Center. We finally had a $10,000-plus day, and we recorded our largest single-day number of participants, 143, who contributed a record anonymous total of $6,671.
Well, every day can't be a record breaker. But every day does provide a new opportunity for the folks of Our Town to jump abord this annual charity drive for the hospotal with the "built-in deficit." That deficit, of course, comes from the practice of giving free or low-cost medical treatment to the needy children who seem to arrive at the hospital morning, noon and night.
This morning 102 unnamed District Liner heard my pleas, sending in $3,621 for the free care fund. That's the kind of assistance we need to help assure the continued availability of medical care to children whose parents can't afford to pay for it. That, along with the following gifts from several area groups and employers should push us past $110,000 today.
Another $5 arrived this morning from the Shooters' Hill Carolers, who had previously sent in $77.80. I guess this fiver must have come from a fall-behind Shooter.
The Wakefield Club sent $10, and apologized that it "can not be more." Once again, please don't apologize. For every apology I get, I can't help feeling there are probably dozens of people who didn't respond because they felt their contribution wouldn't help. Every penny counts here.
In fact, on a recent visit to the hospital I noticed in the development office (where contributions are coordinated and acknowledged) a plastic bag full of change. The money came from a penny-ante poker game, and it was received with the same enthusiasm that a big check causes. The children aren't too particular about the form expressions of hope come in. And one hundred pennies is a dollar, no matter how it's packaged or delivered. a
Speaking of pennies, the employes of the Federal Grain Inspection Service division of USDA "collected everyone's spare pennies all year" and came up with $15 for Children's.
Two checks for $20 arrived this morning, one from the Greater Herndon Jaycee Women and the other from the "Quality Control unit of the Washington, D.C. Main Post Office." Two checks for $25 also survived the mail pipeline. One came all the way from Cambridge, Maryland's Bay Country Bakery. The other one traveled east from the children of Our Lady of the Blue Ridge Catholic Church in southern Virginia.
The West End Bowling League came through again, sending $27 this year. A check for $30 was received from the guidance department of Wheaton High School. A $32 check "represents money collected by the Student Council of Friendship Educational Center in D.C. The members of the Council held a bake sale. At some point in their lives they all seemed to have had an experience at Children's Hospital and realized what good work it does."
That sounds familiar. I've read letters from people who "remember the morning in 1917 when. . ."
Two dozen brave singers "trekked through the teen temperatures to sing to their neighbors" for Children's Hospital. The result of a night's work for the Green Acres (West End) Christmas Carolers was $40 for the kids. The wheelers and dealers at Covington Buick Inc. in Silver Spring gathered $47.60.
Three $50 checks also came to my attention this morning. "As more Turkish people settle in the area," said one, "we feel we should be part of this community." Amen! The letter came from the Washington Turkish Women's Association. Another $50 came from Cissel-Saxon Unit No. 41 of the American Legion Auxiliary, and the third $50 came courtesy of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Kensington Volunteer Fire Depatment.
So, we never even broke into the triple-digit category today. Those 15 groups sent an additional $446.60 which, when added to the $3,621 already tabulated, gives us a daily total of $4,067.60. Inasmuch as the shoebox held $106,037.09 yesterday, ten seconds with the cordless calculator shows that it holds $110,104.69 now.
Please send your tax-deductible check, made payable to Children's Hospital, to: Scott Chase, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.
It makes a fantastic early entry in your checkbook that makes you feel good everytime you see it.