There's something fishy about the status of our campaign for Children's Hospital, and it worries me.

By the time the last 10 days of a campaign roll around, almost all of the big gifts are in and the tally is always a wee bit lower than it was on the same day the year before. Each year, the indication is that we're not going to match the total of the previous year. Only at the last moment do a couple of late gifts bring the campaign to a successful finish.

This year, it's all topsy-turvy. We are now running significantly ahead of last year, with the Telephone Company's tremendous team effort still to be tallied. And I keep wondering: What did we do right this time? What can happen to upset the applecart? Is Gold's Law about to drop a sack of cement on my head?

Well let's count our blessings - and also the contributions in today's mail. "An imprompted raffle" raised $4.25 at the transportatin Research Board. "A small group at the Department of Energy sent me a check for $5.50. The Division of Federal-State Relations at Food and Drug raised $25.

"The Children's Hospital," said one letter. Here is a check for $29 Say it was from the Quesada Street Carolers." The record wil 80 show.

Do you know why the boss at Photo Science, inc., didn't get a Christmas present from his employees? Because they sent me their $40 for Children's Hospital instead, that's why. Employees of the Energy Department's Division of Oil, Gas, Shale and In Situ Technology sent me $50 for the children. Please don't tell them I don't know what In Situ Technology is; I aim to find out before it's time for another Children's Hospital campaign.

NO intramural exchange of holiday cards in the Office of the Associate Commissioner for Compliance at Food and Drug saved $64 for a better purpose. The same scheme was good for $79 when it was put ti use by members of the Geberal Legal Services Division in the Office of Chief Counsel at IRS, all of whom I consider good friends and fine people except for the brief period between the night of April 14 and the morning of April 15. After I write their check, recover from the bends and emerge from the decompression chamber, I consider them friends again.

Are there any three-digit gifts this late in the campaign? You'd better believe it. Even an occasional (sight) four digiter.

No in-house card exchange at the Department of State, "A/FBO, SA-6, Room 327." was good for a snappy $125 The same plan raised $175 in the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Systems Engineering Management. That unit's contribution was accompanied by a note that said:

"I was requested by more than half of my staff not to forget our Children's Hospital collection. This is the only fund-raising effort I can recall where people came to me before I could get to them."

"The folks at the National Center for Antibiotic Analysis and friends in other units of Pharmaceutical Research and Testing" at Food and Drug sent each other no holiday cards for the fifth straight year and thus diverted $300 to Children's Hospital. Six people on the staff of the Commerce Department's Office of Textiles came through with $330! Match that average in your shop if uou can.

Did I mention four-digit gifts? The National Capital Region of the National Park Service ($383) and the United States Park Police ($861) put together a thumping total of $1,244. On an ordinary day, that would have have won top honors.

But bless us all, on this day the Park people were relegated to No. 2 Try-harder-Next-year status. The winner today was the Recreational Activities Association at the National Academy of Sciences, with a boost from the Academy itself, which matches charitable gifts made by employees. Their total today was $2,788.40 (and those of you with good memories will recall that other Nas units earlier contributed $787.50). What a heart-warming performance!

The abacus says these 14 groups came through with $5,257.15, which is unusually high for this late in the campaign. Among the 48 gifts from anonymous individuals were 44 checks that came to $962 and two letters that contained Mexican pesos - one 50-peso bill worth $2.20, and 66 pesos and 20 centavos worth $2.90, to bring gifts from individuals to $967 10 and today's total to $6,224.25. Having begun the day with $148,564.86 in our shoebox, the tally now stands at a reassuring $154,789.11.