"You have a category for retired Navy types who can no longer contribute at the office," writes a retired admiral. "I've forgotten what you call it, but whatever it is, add this check for Children's Hospital to it."

Aye, aye, sir. You have been assigned to the USS Miscellaneous, which is ready to cast off. If all remaining Navy units will please get their checks in today's mail, we'll have a report soon on the Navy's role in this year's campaign.

Another letter is from a woman who scolds: "Because of you, I have already spoiled two checks by writing '1977' on the dateline. You were supposed to remind us to fill in '1978' on one entire pad of checks so that by the time we finish using that pad we'll be accustomed to writing 1978."

Sorry, I just haven't had space to publish the reminder this year. During the height of the campaign last year, we were given additional space. But that meant dropping a comic panel, which didn't please some subscribers, so this year I declined the offer of extra space. During a fund drive, I can't afford to make enemies.

Today we take a look at what young people and their teachers are doing for Children's Hospital. There weren't enough one-cent fines against gum chewers at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, so their check was rounded off to $10.The cadet corps at Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, Va., takes up an annual collection for the needy, and it had $25 left over for Children's Hospital.

The Physical Plant Department at the University of Maryland chipped in $30, and the Sixth Grade at Oak View Elementary School in Silver Spring also got up a kitty of $30.

Third Graders at Cresthaven School, also in Silver Spring, have less disposable income than their Sixth Grade friends, so they had to do chores to earn their $30 contribution to the hospital.

The staff at Westlawn Elementary (Fairfax County) chipped in $33. In the American University Bookstore, the staff rounded up $36. One-cent fines against Sligo Junior High School students who forgot to bring a pencil and five-cent fines against those who forgot their books brought in $40 with the help of more "rounding off." Six McLean youngsters who sang Christmas carols collected $45. The Third Grade and Fourth Grade at Taylor Elementary School (Arlington) sent me a beautiful homemade card they all signed. Tucked inside was $46.

For the tenth consecutive year, children in Pod G at Long Branch Elementary School (Arlington) passed up an intramural gift exchange, and this year their generosity will provide $50 worth of medical help for a needy child. "Our homeroom" at W. T. Woodson High School (Fairfax County) chipped in $66. Children in the Fifth Grade at Woodburn Elementary School in Falls Church passed up an intramural gift exchange to send me $75. No Hanukah gift exchange among the staff at Har Shalom Nursery School in Potomac brought in $76.

Boy Scout Troop 361 (Columbia) worked so hard to earn money that it ended up with "a slight bulge" in its treasury. The bulge was smoothed out by sending me a check for $100 for Children's Hospital.

"Families and staff members of the Churchill Road Elementary School in McLean" chipped in $107.18. The staff of the Taylor Elementary School (in Arlington, as noted above), refrained from exchanging $175 worth of inhouse holiday cards. The faculty and staff of Brown Station Elementary School in Gaithersburg raffled off a turkey at Thanksgiving and a ham at Christmas to make a profit of $190 for the children.

No intramural card exchange among the faculty of Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria brought in a fat wad of checks that added up to $245. The identical plan was used among the staff of Springbrook High School in Silver Spring with almost identical results. Their total: $250.

As usual, top school honors went to Martin Luther King Jr. Junior High School in Beltsville. Those youngsters are really on the ball. The Seventh Grade raised $135.03, and Eighth Grade $263.97, and the Ninth Grade topped everybody with $266.19. Good old "miscellaneous" chipped in $14.81 to round out the school's total to $680. So the younger generation is going to the bowwows, eh? You'll have to peddle that line somewhere else. I know better.

Summary: 21 groups contributed $2,339.18 today, and 51 individuals added $1,521.55 to make the day's total $3,860.73. We started the day with $100,596.06, so the shoebox now holds $104,456.79.