It's the sort of traffic jam I like to see.

Our annual fund-raising campaign on behalf of Children's Hospital is attracting group gifts by the bushel. I can tell in two ways.

First is the long list of group givers that follows. You're the best, troops. Well done.

Second is the long looks I start getting at this time of year from the hard-working souls in The Washington Post's mailroom. The rest of the year, we're buddies. During the winter holidays, they start looking at me as if I owe each of them a new set of back muscles.

Sorry, mail gang. Just know (and tell your backs) that all those heavy baskets full of envelopes are for a very good cause.

By the way, if any of you readers haven't yet made a donation to our 1999-2000 campaign, may today's column serve to beckon you.

Recent group givers:

Kennedy Center Tuesday Morning Tour Guides ($180).

"Everyone at" Pain and Rehabilitation Medicine, Bethesda ($100 via a white elephant auction).

Middle school students, Merritt Academy, Fairfax ($285 in honor of teachers Linda Potts, Tina Walton, Lauren Satterly, Linda Jouvanis, Beth Douliery, Donna Merchant, Tammy Millard, Gary Lord and Edward Nassor).

Students, Miss Martin's kindergarten, Internal Revenue Service Child Development Center ($70 by giving up Happy Meals and Big Kid Meals).

Attorneys and staff, O'Connor & Hannan, Northwest Washington ($1,815, the 15th consecutive year that this bunch has been heard from in multiple digits. Special thanks to Claire McInerney Mack).

Staff, Honda North America Inc., Southwest Washington ($167).

Main office staff, Fairview Elementary School, Fairfax Station ($80 in lieu of exchanging presents for the holidays).

Teachers and staff, Washington Episcopal School ($165).

Employees, Disabled American Veterans National Service and Legislative Headquarters, Southwest Washington ($450, with thanks for taking part every year since 1980).

Students, Washington Business School, Vienna ($1,138 via the annual type-a-thon, with thanks, as always, to the unbeatable Barbara B. Foti).

Faculty, Aleph-Bet Jewish Day School, Annapolis ($143 in memory of Mickey Jarashow).

Team 7A, Robert Frost Middle School, Rockville ($130 in honor of Matt Snyder).

Bell Atlantic Express Data Conversion Group ($215 in lieu of cards or gifts).

Office staff, Franklin Middle School, Chantilly ($220 in lieu of exchanging gifts).

Manufacturing Department, Biomedical Services Headquarters, American Red Cross, Arlington ($25 plus a jar of change).

Employees, BASICS, Arlington ($160).

Beth Carnill and her third-grade students, Virginia Avenue Charlotte DeHart Elementary School, Winchester, Va. ($25 instead of a gift exchange).

Reston Raiders Squirt Blue hockey team ($310 in memory of teammate Cooper Shepard).

Catholic Community, Quantico Command Religious Program ($1,000).

Secretaries and their families, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center ($170 instead of exchanging gifts).

Herndon and Washington offices, Air Line Pilots Association, International ($1,151).

Staff, Center for Young Children, University of Maryland ($115).

Employees, Freedom of Information-Privacy Acts Section, FBI ($900 collected at the FOIPA Follies).

Bleichner Art Studio ($280 in lieu of gifts).

Holland Point Citizens Association ($190).

Park Mart, College Park ($250, the 16th consecutive year that this business has been heard from).

Members (active and retired), Frequency Management Community, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce ($252 donated at the annual holiday luncheon).

Bell Atlantic Data Security Group, Silver Spring ($235 instead of spending it on cards and gifts).

Law offices of Stephen K. Christenson, Fairfax ($50 in "fines" collected on Dress Down Mondays).

Employees, Shapiro & Co., Northwest Washington ($200 in honor of the big cheese, Ronald L. Shapiro).

Employees, Novigen Sciences Inc. ($250 in honor of the founder, Barbara Petersen).

PsycINFO Department, American Psychological Association ($40).

Seminary Ladies Bowling League, Alexandria ($145 collected at a Christmas party).

Staff, Campus Parking, University of Maryland ($35 instead of exchanging gifts).

Somerset Ladies' and Couples' Bridge Groups, Fairfax ($117.70).

Students, Heritage Proud Club, Sligo Middle School, Silver Spring ($120).

Engleberg-Korman Charitable Foundation Inc. ($500).

Employees, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of State (a most statesmanlike $1,642 via a bake sale, auction, raffle and direct contributions).

Staff, Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, Rockville ($115).

Law Offices of Jules Fink, Silver Spring ($36).

Cissel-Saxon Unit No. 41, American Legion Auxiliary, Silver Spring ($50).

Potomac-Hudson Engineering Inc., Bethesda ($1,050).

Sales staff, Lomax-Schinzel Antiques Inc., Chevy Chase ($235 in memory of Lawrence Lomax and in honor of Helmut Schinzel and Patrick Dolan).

Presbyterian Women of Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church, Kensington ($100).

Glenn Dale Senior Citizens Club, Glenn Dale ($73).

Sylvia Ritzenberg Charitable Trust ($1,000).

The Beatrice F. and Melvin E. Lewis Charitable Foundation, Northwest Washington ($100).

St. Luke No. 2 Duckpin Bowling Team ($25).

Association of Practicing Certified Accountants Charitable Foundation, Rockville ($1,410).

Local 2108, Communications Workers of America, Landover ($1,250).

Staff, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Northwest Washington ($175, with special thanks to Janet Aldrich).

Economic Census Branch Coffee Club, U.S. Census Bureau ($50).

Pearl Works of Maryland Ltd., Charlotte Hall ($150).

Munger Academy Inc., Sterling ($170.15).

Virginia Business Connections Inc. ($40).

L'Enfant Plaza fifth floor contractors and employees, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Finance and Management), Internal Revenue Service ($171 in pennies collected in ye olde water jug).

Kiplinger Washington Editors Inc., Northwest Washington ($4,448 from employees and company matching grants).

Great work, gang. Many thanks.

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

In hand as of Jan. 8: $519,154.84.


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.