"I'm sending you this $15 for Children's Hospital for three reasons," says, a letter from a young woman. "First, you're there to receive it after being away for so long. Second, I'm here to give it after being kind of sick myself. And third, I'm working again, and have something to give. It sure is nice to have a job again."
My young friend will be happy to know that she and 56 other anonymous individuals have today added $1,514 to the shoebox in which we collect gifts for Children's Hospital.
There is also substantial help at hand from 24 groups and organizations. General Billy Mitchell Unit 85 of the American legion Auxiliary voted to sent the children $10. A 5th Grade class in the Cooper Lane Elementary School in Landover took up a collection of $12.58. Carols sung by children who live in the Redford Estates (in Oxon Hill) were rewarded with $15.
Members of Girl Scout Troop 338 liked my report that a 37-year-old womnan had contributed $1 for every year of her life. A dollar a year is too steep for Girl Scouts, so Troop 338 set itself a goal of 10 cents for each year - and then went out and earned the $22.20 it took to make good. "Tuesday Afternoon Ladies Scratch Trios," who bowl at the Baileys Crossroads Fairlanes, raised $36.70.
The Office of Finance and Management of the metropolitan Police Department chipped in $58. From the Transportation Association of America came $59 in cash (shudder!) and checks. From the Special Services Section of Pepco came $60, all of it in (shudder! shudder!) cash.
Each year more office groups decide to exchange holiday greetings in person, instead of by card, so that the savings can be sent to Children's Hospital. When the no-cards idea was tried this year by the Force Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, it brought in $95.70 plus the promise, "Next year will be better."
In several office, this year was the better "next year" they talked about last year. The sales staff and office personnel at W.C. and A.N. Miller declined to send each other $106 worth of holiday cards. In the Office of Audits and Investigations of the Prince George's County government, $114 was saved by not engaging in an intramural card exchange. In the Labor Department's Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, the no-card plan scored a $117 victory for common sense. The National Liaison Division of GSA's Federal Supply Service refrained from swapping $118 worth of in-house cards.
Employees of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation chipped in $127. The cuss box used by the ISA Library Processing Group at Vitro Laboratories yielded very little this year, possibly because the formerly all-female unit was "intergrated" during 1977. The 14 staffers raised $135 anyhow.
No card exchange at the Gillette Research Institute netted $148. At the Commission on International Relations of the Natioanal Academy of Sciences, the no-card savings hit $230. The Supreme Court of the United States Police Force, aided and abetted by one SCOTUS telephone operator, provided $275 worth of medical help for a needy child.
Students at Hayfield Elementary School in Alexandria were asked to contribute to Children's Hospital instead of giving their teachers Christmas gifts, so the hospital reaped a $278.37 benefit.
Employees of the National Automobile Dealers Association got up a kitty of $301. What used to be our police Traffic Division has a new name now, "the Traffic Enforcement Branch of the Traffic and Special Operation Division, Metropolitan Police Department." The name may be new, but the allegiance to Children's Hospital goes back may years, and this year our traffic cops chipped in $325. It's almost a pleasure to get a ticket from people like that. (I said almost.)
Employees of the Appalachian Regional Commission didn't send each other $326 worth holiday cards, an increase of 50 per cent over last year's gift. No card exchange among the 38 members of the Army's Coastal Engineering research Center at Fort Belvoir rang the bell for $415.13.
Top gift of the day was the $434.60 that arrived from employees of the Systems Development Corp. of Mclean.
The abacus says that these 24 groups have contributed $3,829.28 which, together with the $1,814 from individuals, brings today's receipts to $5,643.28. Having begun the day with $58,445.42, the shoebox now holds $64,088.70.