Much of the help accorded Children's Hospital comes from schoolchildren and their teachers, yet neither group is very affluent.

Children qualify as the purest of philanthropists. They do their giving from modest lunch money allowances and don't even get a tax deduction in return.

Here are some examples, gleaned from the last three mail deliveries:

The Fifth and Sixth Grades at Thomas Addison Elementary School in Oxon Hill chipped in $15. The faculty and staff of the Georgetown Hill Elememtary School in Potomac raised $23.75 "by writing 'Season's Greetings' on a bulletin board instead of buying cards to send to one another."

The Student Council at Beverly Farms Elementary School n Potomac voted to send me $25 for the hospital. The Keyette Club of George Mason Junior-Senior High School in Falls Church also sent me $25, and so did Fourth Graders at Stoddert School, here in Washington.

A Sixth Grade class at Clifton (Va.) Elementary School got up a $30 pool for the hospital. Another $30 arrived from a Second Grade class at Spring Hill Elementary School in MeLean. Imagine that! When I was in the Second Grade, we couldn't have raised $30 if the entire class had been held for ransom.

Second Grade and Third Grade classes at Sterling (Va.) Elementary School gave $30.45. A.Sixth Grade class at Glen Orest Elementary School (Falls Church) made a profit of $34.82 by raffling off a picture of a teacher to students who might want to admire it "or throw darts at it."

The Cafeteria Staff of the Goddard Junior High School in Lanham sent me $45. A Third Grade class at Montpelier Elementary School in Laurel decided not to hold an intramlural gift exchange so that $48.18 could be diverted to the hospital.

The staff of the Office of Evaluation and Research, Prince George's County Public Schools, sent me $50. The Rock Creek Palisades Elementary School in Kensington also sent$50, and a third $50 check was contributed by the National School Boards Association.

The Eighth Grade earth sciences class at St. Agnes School in Alexandria raised $65.70 by having a "phantom Christmas party." The students pretended they had enjoyed lots of food and drinks, then figured out how much such goodies would have cost and sent me the money. By coincidence, $65.70 also arrived from Cresthaven Elementary School in Silver Spring. (Third Graders earned $15 by doing chores and $50.70 was raised by a staff gift auction.)

The staff of Rockville's Lone Oak Elementary School contributed $80. The staff of North Forestville (Md.) Elementary School sent me $89. This year's gift from the Laurel (MD.) Elementary School was $90.

Five groups at Rosecroft Park Elementary School in Oxon Hill decided not to exchange gifts this year, a decision that was worth $128.40 to Children's Hospital. A Sixth Grade class raised $13.80; another teacher's Fifth and Sixth Graders collected $15.50; a Third Grade class added $27; Second and Third graders diverted $30 to the hospital; and kindergarten children headed the list with $42.10.

No gift exchange among staff members of Andrews Air Force Base Elementary School brought in a nifty $131.50. Santa Claus Certificates sold to "elves" at Hutchison Elementary School in Hrndon helped to swell that school's contribution to $146.45. The faculty and staff of the School of Englineering and Applied Science of George Washington University refrained from exchanging $184 worth of holiday cards among themselves.

Before we run out of space, we must squeeze in five more reports:

The 25 employees of the National Association of Elementary School Principals diverted $206 to the hospital by not engaging in a gift exchange. The faculty and staff at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria didn't exchange $224 worth of greeting cards. Students at Chesterbrook Elementary School in McLean chipped in a whopping $285. Sleepy Hollow Elementary School in Falls Church raised an amazing $679.06 with a Read-a-thon, with sponsors paying students for every book they read. (What a refreshing idea.) And what can we say about mighty Martin Luther King Jr. Junior High School in Beltsville? In a spirited competition among its Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Grades, it raised $1,070 worth of help for needy children.

As I tally it, these school groups have added $3,947.01 to the shoebox, which now holds $79,864.10.