"Enclosed please find a check for $25 that my husband and I would like to give to Children's Hospital.
"Last Wednesday at 4:12 p.m. our second child was born at Greater Southeast Community Hospital. He was born four weeks premature and as a result has Hyland's Membrane Disease. At 11:30 p.m. the next evening, Greater Southeast called Children's Hospital and Their transport unit came to move my son to Children's. Two nurses, a doctor, and two drivers arrived. t
"The nurses and doctor came and talked to me about my son's condition. Then I went down to the nursery to say goodbye and see him moved into a transportation isolette. All the life support and monitoring systems he was dependent on remained connected in the isolette during the journey.
"By 1:30 a.m. they were ready to leave for Children's. The doctor arranged to call the nursery at Greater Southeast when they arrived at Children's and had my baby settled in the Intensive Care Nursery. Later, a nurse from Greater Southeast came to tell me they had called and all was well. (I was fast asleep by that time.)
"The two nurses from Children's had given me a letter that explained their purpose and encouraged me to call at any time about my baby. He was cared for by an attending doctor and a resident physician as well as a primary nurse responsible solely for him whenever she was there. The other two shifts he also had a nurse for himself alone.
"He was given the very best of care and as a result of this care will be transferred back to Greater Southeast very soon. Hopefully by the middle of next week he will be home with us and his brother.
"The people who took care of my baby, the hospital and staff are just wonderful. Extremely supportive, informative about his condition and willing to bend over backwards to help. We took him a music box and some toys and they are in his isolette.
"The $25 was given to Childbirth Education Association but since we were unable to take their refresher course we elected to send the refund to you for Children's Hospital. Even though our bill will be covered by insurance, we know that the kind of care our child receives costs a lot of money, but every little bit helps.
"I hope you can explain to your readers more about Children's Hospital, and even encourage them to visit the facility. It is truly a remarkable place." Testimonials to and about everything from the bathrooms at Children's Hospital to the physicians themselves are quite common in the mail coming through the pipeline. Few are as long and detailed as the letter above, so I've shared this taste of life at Children's with you.
Today I received contributions totaling $348 from 11 unnamed and anonymous individuals. Additional financial help was also sent by six informal groups or organizations.
Leading off with a gift of $10 were the members of Progressive Council No. 9, Daughters of America. A check for $16 arrived from schoolchildren in a sixth grade class at Chapel Forge Elementary School in Bowie. These young students had a Christmas party for Children's Hospital last month.
The Young-In-Heart, a group of senior citizens who attend the Congress Heights United Methodist Church, held a white elephant sale that realized $20 for the hospital.
"This $25 is a 'first' for our club, but I hope it sets a yearly precedent by getting in the accounting books," wrote a member of the American Antique Arts Association. If you're in doubt next year, don't hesitate to remind your check writers that another deficit year has passed for Children's.
Members of the Futurelites, "a small social club that wants to help", sent a $30 check to help us acheive a successful drive and boost our eventual total. a
The "Klingle Street Karolers" went caroling again last Dec. 16, and collected $62 to help needy children receive necessary medical treatment at an affordale price. Their founder blamed the Redskins loss that evening for preventing them from reaching their goal of $70. Never quitters, they warned me to "Wait until next year" for some real action. I'll be waiting, anticipating, and ready to report on your promised improvement.
This last contribution really took me by surprise. Employees of The Washington Aqueduct left a contribution of $133.73 at the front counter of The Washington Post. The guard there called me and suggested I bring a handcart to "haul away this box." Inside were 2,000 pennies, assorted loose and rolled coins, paper money and a stack of checks. It weighed about 30 pounds.
Save a child and exercise a columnist isn't a bad combination of ideas.
Our seven groups added $296.73 to the $348 already mentioned, giving us a total today of $644.73. Yesterday I closed the lid on $166,377.96, so the shoebox now contains $167,022.69. Let's start organizing for the big push. We want to exceed $223,000 by Jan. 31.