"Hope you are feeling better now," says a note with a check pinned to it, "and here's an 87-year-old widow's mite for Children's Hospital. I wish you and the Lady At Your House the best of everything in 1978, and I hope I'll be greeting you again next year."

Thanks, kid. Our generation has to stick together. I'm feeling pretty good now, so I hope to be around to receive your greetings in '79. I have no doubts about your being around to send them.

Another letter in today's mail says, "For many years, I collected for Children's Hospital in my neighborhood, but I guess they think I'm too old now. However, as you can see from the enclosed. I am not too old to write a check." The check was for $200. Girls are sometimes accused of being flighty or frivolous, but by golly you can't say that about the girls who read this column.

Today's report on gifts from groups begins with $1.11 dropped into a collection box at the Civil Service Commission. "The girls who work in departments 1010 and 1011 at Penney's in Springfield Mall" had $15 left over after buying their boss a gift. No gift exchange in a dental office on East-West Highway brought in $20, and another $20 materialized thanks to Crico (Criterion Insurance) Claims Local, Silver Spring.

A collection basket on the counter of the Tenth Hole at Ft. McNair Golf Course snared $30.12. The Office of Communication Services of the American Public Transit Association rounded up $35 for the hospital.

"The Kids From Bucknell" went caroling and came back with $22.60 which was duly transmitted to me with a note that said, "My daddy decided to round this off to an even $45." Heavenly days, daddy, I never realized how round $45 really is.

At the World Bank, Administrative Services, Documents Service and the Arts and Design Section teamed up to raise $48 for the children. Checks totaling $50 came rolling down from Capitol Hill because employees of the Congressional Record Index Offices refrained from engaging in an intramural exchange of holiday cards.

The Christmas tree in People Drug Store No. 288 (on Bel Pre Road in Silver Spring) was decorated with $60 by customers and employees. The tree in People Drug Store No. 119, on Crain Highway in Bowie, garnered $64.

"The women who own and staff Information Services, Inc." on Rockville Pike brought home-cooked food to their Christmas party instead of spending $68 for store-bought stuff, and guess who got the $68.

Thirty-four employees of the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency Computer Center in Olney sent in $75. No card exchange among Hechinger Builders personnel earned $89 for the hospital. No card exchange at Tab Products Co. in Rockville was good for $90 worth of medical help for a needy child. Ten employees of the State Department Federal Credit Union didn't send each other $92.50 worth of cards.

The men and women at General Office Furniture Wholesalers sent in $150. Thirteen checks from the Law Department at the Southern Railway System added up to $172.

A money order for $178 arrived from staffers at the Association of American Railroads together with the pregnant comment: "Babies have been born to four members of our staff in the past month. Any one of them might some day need the services of Children's Hospital."

No card exchange at the William E. Miller Furniture Co. was good for $191. Same idea at Burton, Parsons & Co. pulled in an impressive $263. And $270 was diverted to the hospital because there was no in-house card exchange among the people in the District of Columbia's Bureau of Traffic Engineering and Operations (the ones who straighten out traffic lights that get knocked askew and do a hundred other things). No card exchange in the Wage and Hour Division of the Labor Department brought in $278. The staff and friends of Hoffman and Sandler collected $464 in the fishbowl they displayed at their annual Christmas party. (They use a pretty big fishbowl.)

"Command and Control Technical Center elements located in Reston (and you'd better say these contributions came from the Reston offices or my name is mud)" set themselves a goal of $500 this year, but they missed it, I am happy to report. They racked up $754.87 instead and took down top honors for the day.

So 25 groups gave $3,523.60, and 28 individuals added $853 to make today's total $4,376.60. We started with $92.009. Now the shoebox holds $96,385.60. We'll need a good day tomorrow to pass the $100,000 mark and stay on target for this year's campaign.