Word has arrived from Springfield that Brownie Troop 2005 contributed $5.11 in "leftover lunch money" to Children's Hospital.

Leftover lunch money? When I was a kid; we wouldn't have understood the meaning of the term.

The K Club of Arlington sent me $10 for the hospital. "Some of the engineers and their helpers at 2029 K St. NW" sent a check for $15. Another $15 arrived with the explanation, "This was collected from the Fairland Diet Group. Anybody who gained a pound had to pay into the pool. As we gained, so did the hospital." When those gainers were Brownies, I'll bet they didn't have any leftover lunch money.

The Library Staff at The Washington Post held a Christmas party that cost $34 less than the Dutch treaters thought it would, so the hospital got the leftover party money, too. The Engineer Officers Duplicate Bridge Club of Fort Belvoir held a charity game for "our favorite charity" and raised $35 with it.

A barbershop quartet named The Finishing Touch performed at a Christmas party for the inmates of Arlington County Jail. A few days later, a check for $50 and a letter of thanks arrived from the sheriff. The singers are keeping the letter of thanks, but the money is going to the children.

The Tremont Restaurant (Falls Church) and its customers also sent $50, and a third $50 was contributed by members of Lorton Unit 162, American Legion Auxiliary.

The Department of Energy's Division of Fossil Fuel Extraction chipped in $51. "A few of us" at Elmer Fox, Westheimer & Co. put together a contribution of $55. Employees of Dee Lighter's Diet Center sent in $60 in memory of a little boy who died recently.

The Shooter's Hill Ecumenical Caroles of Alexandria turned in their all-time high box office take, $75.01, and explained, "We had a trombone and an accordian this year." What's on tap for next year, a chorus line?

Fortunately for the children, we have 11 three-digit gifts today, and one four-digit job. Members of the Senior Adult Crystal Club No. 8 of Arlington got up a kitty of $100, and $100 also arrived from Local 2108 of the Communications Workers of America. Another NASA unit at Goddard Space Flight Center checked in, this time the Operations Support Computing Center, where $106 worth of in-house cards were not exchanged.

The no-cards idea was beautifully executed by personnel in the Office of the Production Manager at the Government Printing Office. Somebody with great artistic ability painted a poster-sized Christmas card, 22 employees signed it, and a check for $110 was sent to me for Children's Hospital.

The ISA Group at Vitro Laboratories sent me $130 with the explanation that it was from "Our group of 13 ladies and one gentleman who contributed to our Cuss, Bitch and Backbite Box and then fleshed out that amount by not exchanging gifts."

Nine people in the Fairfax office of Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. decided not to send each other $132.50 worth of greeting cards. A check for $160 was accompanied by a note that said, "The folks in the Personnel, Financial and Technical Evaluation Directorates of the U.S. Army Computer Systems Command Annex in Falls Church held a happy hour last night." Many happy returns, folks.

High's Dairy Store No. 530A (in Springfield) put a jug on the counter and collected a healthy $167 in it. No card exchange at the Smithsonian Science Information Exchange produced $220 worth of medical help for a needy child. The same technique netted$255 when it was used among Photographic Services and Photographic Staff people at National Geographic -- the lens wizards who have helped make the Geographic outstanding in color photography.

Employees of the American Gas Association didn't exchange cards for the sixth straight year and thus diverted $424 to the hospital. In the System Sciences Division of Computer Sciences Corp., this was the 13th consecutive year of helping needy children instead of exchanging holiday cards, and the thick bundle of checks that arrived from CSC added up to $1,575 -- and top honors for the day.

These 25 contributions from groups come to $3,984.62, and 55 individuals added $1,578 to bring today's total to $5,562.62. Having started the day with $108,735.74, the shoebox now holds $114,298.36. On Jan 11, 1978, it held $114,564.23, so we are now only $265.87 behind last year's pace, thanks to you.