There's a fat batch of mail post-marked "January" to talk about this morning - an even 100 letters.

The girls in Brownie Troop 2144 (College Gardens Elementary School in Rockville) voted to give the hospital one full week of their dues. Thier check was for $6.75. Eleven Belmont Elementary School (Woofbrige) "children with behavioral problems" made chocolate chip cookies, sold them, counted up the proceeds, bought a $10 check with their cash, and sent it to me. "They had a very good social exprience," to say nothing of good practical exprience in making and handling money. Well done, young friends.

Another $10 check was identified as the gift of "the PSAD/GP" at the U.S. General Accounting Office. "Employees of the Equipment Management Department of the Naval Explosive Ordinance Disposal Facility at India Head rounded up $16. A check for $18.80 arrived from the Cost Analysis Division, "HQ DARCOM," which I think refers to the Army's Material Development And Rediness Command.

This note was pinned to a check for "I am, by neglect, president, treasurer and secretary of the Maryland Chapter of FIE (Fanatically Indifferent about Everything). At a recent meeting of the chapter, we decided not to be indifferent to Children's Hospital, and voted to send you the entire balance in our treasury, which was $0.00, so we paid our dues for the first time, and here they are. Please don't ask how to join us. If you are sufficiently interested to want to join, you can't be indifferent enough to qualify for membership."

Herblock's usual response to suggestions that he become a joiner is, "Thanks, but I don't care to belong to organizations that accept people like me."

Checks totaling $37 were identified as "the result of no card exchange, Systems Branch Sunshine Club, USDA, SRS, Survey Division." The eight members of the Stafford Jayceettes of Falmouth, Va. sent me $50 from their modest treasury. The staff of the Consumer Credit Division of American Security Bank added $53 and good wishes for a successful fund drive.

The D.C. Government's Department of Environmental Services, which has done so much to improve public health here, accompanied its $65 contribution with the explanation, "We decided to do without coffee for a while." No holiday card exchange in the Construction Statistics Division at the Bureau of the Census diverted $66.90 to medical help for a needy child.

"Once again," said a letter, "the customers and employees at Dockside Sales in Rockville have joined together to support Children's Hospital in the amount of $100," and enclosed checks substantiated the statement. One home-made Christmas card signed by everybody in the Dairy Division of the Agricultural Marketing Service had $135 worth of checks pinned to it.

Five checks that added up to $172.50 were identified as coming from "some of your friends at the British Embassy." Good show, friends. If you paid a cover charge recently at a night club called One Flight Up (4900 block of Wisconsin) you might be interested to know that I have your money. The club levies the charge on Friday and Saturday nights for the benefit of Children's Hospital, and has thus far turned over $250 to me.

The Center for Naval Analyses (located in Arlington although it is an affiliate of the University of Rochester), sent me $417 for the children plus a note that said, "We hope for more next time."

The Department of Energy ran an Operation Needy Program last Christmas, and through it provided baskets of food to poor families. For good measure, "employees" at the DOE's Germantown facility conducted a sale of paperback books to raise money for Children's Hospital, and the sale put $845 into our shoebox.

Easily the biggest contribution of the day was from Club Americana, which holds an annual dinner dance for Children's Hospital. When the affair metted $2,500 last year, I thought to myself, "This is going to be a hard act to follow." But this year's check has just rolled in and it is for $3,150. Best of all, a postscript on the Club Americana report says, "We have already reserved space for our next benefit dance for the hospital."

As I tally it, these 18 groups have put $5,427.95 into the shoebox, and 82 individuals have added $1,672.83 to bring today's total to $7,100.78 - one of the best of the campaign. Inasmuch as we started our count today with $186,971.57, we now have $194,072.35. Few shoeboxes can hold that much, but fortunately I have big feet.