It's the day before Christmas and all through the city, friends of the children have done something quite witty.

They listened to Bill, then listened to Scott. And the cards they didn't send, helped Children's Hospital a lot.

Today is a banner day for us. Over $13,000 has been added to the shoebox.

The staffs of 22 offices diverted funds to Children's Hospital "in lieu of" intramural office exchanges of greeting cards. Here they are!

Employees in a small office of Peace Corps/Washington, "responsible for emergency situations concerning volunteers or their families here in the States," sent $15. First-time contributors, they and all newcomers are welcome aboard.

Members of the Grace Welborn Unit of Parliamentarians gathered $20.

Sticking with an old tradition, friends in an office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff collected $40. Nicely done!

A $49 check arrived from the concerned employees of the Fda'''s Division of Cosmetic Technology.

The staff of the Center for Demographic Studies, one of many participating branches of the Census Bureau, came up with $50.

Employees of the Planning, Evaluation, and Budgeting Department of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service contributed $60.

Delivering $67 to the hospital through "For the Love of Children" were members of the accounting department of Savage/Fogarty Companies.

First in the three-digit category at $139 were the folks of the Nursing and Administrative offices of the Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital Corporation. As usual, they remembered to compensate for inflation. Thanks!

More folks at Census, from the Economic Surveys Division, boosted the consensus of Children's Hospital fans there with a check for $143.

Contributors at the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division diverted $146.50 to the hospital.

Again this year, the pipeline yielded a letter containing several checks "which represent the money donated by employees of the Defense Logistics Agency, Baltimore, DCASMA, Industrial Security Division, Alexandria Branch, Virginia Branch and Washington Branch." Many thanks for the $153, and for your fine interoffice effort.

"Members of the Sales and Administrative staffs at the W.C. and A.N. Miller Development Company are pleased to enclose . . . checks totaling $191," read the letter from that group.

My friends in the accounting department at The Washington Post asked me up from the newsroom to receive their check for $284. Thanks for the support.

A federal employee, on behalf of his co-workers, wrote, "Enclosed are checks totaling $288.10 donated by the FBI's Technical Services Division." Well done, G-persons!

A check payable to Children's Hospital for $398 arrived from employees of the Appalachian Regional Commission. The gift was "a considerable increase over last year," they noted.

District Liners employed by the Division of Labor-Management Laws in the Solicitor's Office of the Labor Department sent the hospital $400 saved by greeting their colleagues personally.

The past and present members of the Air Force Audie Agency sent two letters containing checks for the hospital. Their total: $413.59.

Interstate Commerce Commission employees, current and retired, in the Bureau of Accounts sent a long list of contributors and a check for $700 to aid the work done at Children's. Good show, friends.

"For the ninth consecutive year the 'Santa Claus et al' group of the American Council of Life Insurance skipped office Christmas cards for the benefit of Children's Hospital," wrote a member. Their contribution came to $1,047.

Members of the Northern Virginia Dental Society participated in our drive for the first time this year. They scratched together $1,153 and set a high standard for themselves next season.

Employees of Presearch, Inc., posted a huge "community" greeting card in their office and aided the hospital with the built-in deficit by donating $1,305.

Grabbing top honors on Christmas Eve were the employees of E-Systems, Melpar Division, sending an "in lieu of" check for $2,661. This heroic effort saved the post office a lot of work, and provided quite a beautiful bonus for the children.

These 22 groups contributed an outstanding total of $9,723.19, with all the money raised by the non-exchange of greeting cards at their offices. To this sun, 102 individuals added $3,576.97, bringing our daily total to $13,300.16. Inasmuch as the shoebox held $36,755.66 last Saturday, our Christmas Even total to date is $50,055.82.

Keep those letters coming, folks. Send your check, payable to Children's Hospital, to: Scott Chase, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Help the hospital continue to aid needy children. You'll be glad you did!