If you'll allow me to adapt the famous Christmas carol . . . It's beginning to feel a lot like records. Everywhere you go-o-o-o-o.

We have just concluded Week Six of our annual eight-week fund-raising campaign on behalf of Children's Hospital. We are starting to leave last year's campaign in the dust, and to bring a record year firmly into view.

Here are the sixth-week statistics:

Our goal by Jan. 21: $650,000.

In hand as of Jan. 6: $503,863.91.

In hand at the same time last year: $433,799.20.

If subtraction isn't your long suit, let me help a bit (after I stop smiling):

We are more than $70,000 ahead of where we were at the comparable time a year ago. If that margin remains, or increases, we will reach our goal with ease, and we may set a single-year Children's fund-raising record.

If you'd like to ascribe our success in 1999- 2000 to Wall Street, El Nino, Mount Vesuvius or some other force of nature, be my guest. I can never explain such good news, and I won't try.

But I believe that every gift to our Children's campaign gets made because a human heart is touched and decides to help. To all the human hearts out there that have inspired gifts--way to go, and may you inspire others.

We have just two weeks to go and a peak still to ascend. I hope you'll help us get there. Please remember that indigent patients at Children's count on all of us to cover their medical expenses. Every cent that we collect goes to a "free care fund" that has been established for that purpose and no other.

I'm delighted with how things are going so far this year. But Levey's smile today can become an ear-splitting grin on Jan. 21. It's all up to you. Thanks very much in advance.


Make a check or money order payable to Children's Hospital and mail it to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.


Call Post-Haste at 202-334-9000 on a touch-tone phone. Then punch in K-I-D-S, or 5437, and follow instructions.

Many thanks to the following group donors:

Court of Camelot Civic Association, Annandale ($350 in proceeds from an annual Christmas sale).

Crystal City Sports Pub ($255 via a "Tips for Charity" event, with a special hoist of the beer mug to Steve Ferraro).

Ye Olde Poops ($69 from this group of retired federal employees, which has donated $2,468 through this column since 1983).

Mattawoman Middle School News Team, Waldorf ($25 in honor of Nancy Blizzard and Marianna Albrittain).

Lutheran Layman's League, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Northwest Washington ($50).

Employees, GIDBN, National Imagery and Mapping Agency ($56 left over after a Christmas party).