My only complaint against the postal service is that it didn't bring me enough checks for Children's Hospital in today's mail.

"The cowgirls at Rubber Rose Ranch" didn't send each other Christmas cards and thereby diverted $10 to the hospital. Phillips Chapter of the Church of the Epiphany on G Street chipped in $25. The Mosby Woods Bridge Club accumulated $25 for the children at a penny per "set." And another $25 arrived from "the lady retirees of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board."

From Springfield, Va., came $50 that has previously nestled in the treasury of the Community Woman's Club. The 16 members of the Benefit Bridge Club of Falls Church also penalized themselves a penny for each contract they failed to make (two cents when doubled), and piled up a profit of $55 for the children. "It's not that we're such poor players," the treasurer explained. "We just play a lot of bridge and are aggressive in our bidding." Ah, if only we had adopted that system at the National Press Club back in the days when we played a lot of bridge and bid like a bunch of madmen. We could have paid for the new hospital and had enough left over for dinner at the Rive Gauche.

Three-digit help arrived from four groups. Southern Maryland C B Club, Inc., chipped in $100, and another $100 was contributed by Metro Mixers, "a social club for mature singles." The Mechanical Force at the United States Supreme Court took up a collection of $119 for the hospital. And employees of the Corporate Office of Nuclear Fuel Services in Rockville took down top honors for the day by not sending each other $195 worth of holiday cards.

Our cordless abacus says that these 10 groups have contributed $704, and that 78 individuals have sent in checks that totaled $1,742, bringing today's receipts to $2,446. We began the day with $21,101.49, so there is now $23,547.49 in the shoebox. So far so good.