Even in this most federal of towns, federal employes sometimes get the short end of the stick. But not today. Our red-white-and-blue hats are off this morning to the following groups of Fedsies who gave -- and gave generously -- to our annual fund-raising campaign on behalf of Children's Hospital.

*Air Force Audit Agency personnel at Andrews Air Force Base got their calculators going, and discovered it would cost $120 to buy Christmas cards for each other and mail them. So they gave the hundred and twenty to our campaign instead -- for which we're very grateful.

*The Budget Staff of the Justice Management Division at the Department of Justice put together a $105 gift via the same cardless method. So did the Office of Construction at the Veterans Administration ($578). And so did the Engineering Office at the Military Sealift Command ($100).

*A $301 contribution arrived from the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce. Hot on its heels were donations from the Division of Field Regulatory Guidance at the Food and Drug Administration ($43), the Office of General Counsel -- Packers and Stockyards Division of the Agriculture Department ($50), employes of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ($500) and the Office of Foreign Relations at the Labor Department's Bureau of International Labor Affairs. We appreciate it, people.

*The cause (Children's) was good. The fund-raising method (kissing) wasn't half bad, either. Karen Rose, Georgia Wiseman and a few others at the U.S. Information Agency's Office of Contracts staffed a kissing booth at the annual office Christmas party. The going rate was a buck per smooch, with all proceeds going to the hospital. The ladies collected $77 by puckering up. The kids are plenty grateful, contract-ors.

*Employes of the Office of Information Systems at the Drug Enforcement Administration contributed $161. Employes of the Board of Veterans Appeals came up with $218.08. And employes of the Office of Flight Operations at the Federal Aviation Administration gave $170 -- which represented the 20th consecutive holiday donation by that office to the hospital. Thanks for keeping alive such a worthy tradition, FAAers.

*The return address said: "1st Ornithopter Group (Air Mbl)(Hvy), Fort George G. Meade, Md." That chased me to the dictionary in a big hurry, where I discovered that an ornithopter is "an experimental type of aircraft designed to be propelled by the flapping of the wings." Not for this kid, gang. A 747 trip on a cloudless day is about as much excitement as I care to experience in the air. However, I'm excited by your $150 donation to the hospital. Thank you.

*Let me acknowledge a $73 contribution from employes of the Accounting and Automated Data Processing Division of the Agriculture Department's Food and Nutrition Service, and another gift of $70 from the Family Support Program at the Department of the Navy.

*Finally, a $134 donation from the employes of the Collection, Taxpayer Service and Data Processing Training Branch of the Internal Revenue Service. "Contrary to popular belief," says the cover letter, "we at IRS do have a heart." You've just shown it in a very persuasive way, troops. We appreciate it.