Inspiration comes in as many different forms as there are people to be inspired. The final deadline of our 1979-80 fund-raising drive for Children's Hospital is rapidly approaching. Maybe just the thought that there's less than two weeks left to be included will trigger inspired response in the pipeline.
Some "procrastinators" have already been moved to add their contributions to the shoebox due to my constant reminders. Along with a check for $25 came this note: "As a procrastinator from way back, your Saturday column finally rattled my chain."
Another District Liner wrote, "Now I can read your column and Bill Gold's column with a clear conscience." To clear things up cost the reader $10.
And yet another, contributing $20 - "I'm getting rather anxious as the Jan. 31 cutoff approaches, as I'm sure you must be. I hope many, many people are just slow like me -- but no slower." Please get those letters into the mailbox right now.
Inspiration came in one of its different forms to a Delaware couple sending $30. They wrote: "To match the 'little old lady' who walked around with her eyes in the gutter."
These letters and contributions from nine other supporters of Children's Hospital gave us an "anonymous individuals" total today of $235. To each and every one of you I extend my thanks.
Will we break the $200,000 barrier before the end of the month? At the rate of a dozen personal contributions a day, I doubt it. But individual District Liners, friends of children, and various organizations have never let the hospital down. To keep alive the 30-year-old golden tradition of uninterrupted annual increases in our final total, we have to squeak past last year's total of $223,000.
We're clawing our way towards that figure, and I still don't think it's impossible. let's all hope that the coming days will bring lots of help to the hospital. I'll stay here night and day to log and report on our progress.
Fortunately, the pipeline did release a small parcel of aid from "informal groups" and organizations. Happily, there was nothing "small" about the total of their combined gifts.
The instructors and staff of the English Studies Division at Prince George's Community College sent an additional check for $10, bringing their total contribution to $175. The professor who originally collected the checks found the extra money in his mailbox afte returning to work from Christmas break.
The women belonging to Arlington Unit 139 of the American Legion Auxiliary passed the hat for Children's Hospital last week and came up with a $25 donation.
"Enclosed is our check in the amount of $25 as a contribution to Children's Hospital from The Retired Citizen's Recreation Club of Manassas, Va.," read the letter from that group of involved and generous retirees."
Aided by an accordian, one trumpet and one saxaphone, singers of the Shooter's Hill ecumenical Caroling Group delighted listeners in their Alexandria neighborhood, singing to assist Children's Hospital. The chorus was so good they were able to collect $79.12 to help provide medical and surgical treatment for needy, young patients.
The artists who make The Canal House Gallery in Georgetown a wonderful place created a real masterpiece last weekend. That's when they acted on a decision to contribute $100 to Children's Hospital, according to the date on their check.
Employees of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments also showed considerable collective talent by sending the children seven checks totaling $168.26.
"Once again, many men and women who work for The George Hyman Construction Company have elected to express their holiday greetings to other Hyman employees in the form of a contribution to Children's Hospital. This year we matched the date, dollar by dollar, and I am happy to enclose checks for the hospital totaling $1,980."
You're happy, the hospital is thrilled, and I'm delighted. We've never been able to deal the "built-in deficit" a fatal blow, but support like yours certainly caused some major bruises. Many thanks and a tip of the hat to the folks at The George Hyman Construction Co.
Our seven organizations sent a total of $2,387.39 to "for the Love of Children." We already accounted for $235 sent by unnamed supporters, giving us a figure toady of $2,622,38. Inasmuch as the shoebox held $163,750.58 yesterday, it now contains $166,372.96.
So again today, our combined total looks pretty good. But we can't rely on large companies to boost our totals everyday. If we're going to exceed last year's figure, more help will have to come from individual District Liners.
So send your check, payable to Children's Hospital, to: Scott Chase, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.