Yesterday we finally zoomed past the $150,000 barrier. Last year on that date the shoebox held $166,372.96. We're still way behind the power curve. The mail pipeline cut-off date of January 31 is fast approaching.
A small handful of letters with contributions from anonymous District Liners arrived this morning, and a few bear quoting here.
"Enclosed is a check for $20 for Children's Hospital. I know how important this campaign is. We had a baby in October who had very critical problems at birth. She was rushed to Children's immediately and thanks to the many wonderful doctors and nurses and the most modern equipment our baby was given the chance she needed to live. Without Children's in this area, I'm afraid I wouldn't have her with me. We will continue to donate every year."
Saving and improving the lives of children happens every day at Children's Hospital.
Another letter, with $25, began, "I was robbed while visiting my 'ole stomping grounds' and decided instead of getting upset, I would send you a small check to add to your collection -- in hopes that some young child will not be robbed of a healthy life." Thank you very much.
Finally, a Washington Post newspaper deliverer sent $30 with this explanation: "I thought I should share some of my Christmastime bounty of cash gifts from customers."
Those were just three of the 11 letters received today from anonymous contributors, which contained a total of $300. The six groups honored below chipped in $1,932 for a daily figure of $2,232. Yesterday the shoebox held $152,785.61 so today we're looking at a total of $155,017.61.
A talented employe at the Agriculture Department's Communications and Data Services Division in Beltsville created a beautiful Christmas card for Children's in which I found $235. This is their tenth consecutive year of helping needy patients at Children's Hospital in lieu of exchanging Christmas cards.
"As first time participants in your wonderful drive, let us extend our best wishes for the greatest success this holiday season," wrote employes of White Technical Support Services and White Scientific Consultants Inc. of Crystal City. They sent $250, which qualified them for instant membership in the no-frills Shoebox Club.
Twenty envelopes containing $295 arrived this morning from the folks at the Aerospace Industries Association of America Inc. That's a welcome dose of rocket fuel for Children's.
The Maryland Chapter of the National Society of Professional Resident Managers held their annual Christmas party last month which included, as usual, their "money tree" for Children's Hospital. This year "leaves" worth $317 were attached to that tree. Many thanks!
The partners and employes of the law firm of Leva, Hawes, Symington, Martin & Oppenheimer collected checks totaling $336 in lieu of exchanging holiday greeting cards with colleagues whom we see every day."
That plan will work every time for the benefit of Children's Hospital.
More than heeding my call to boost contributions to Children's Hospital by the inflation rate this year were employes of the James G. Davis Construction Corp. They raised $499 by including workers on their construction projects as well as management employes, an increase of 84 percent over last year's gift. Well done, friends!
They also guessed correctly that I "might be somewhat discouraged by the lower area wide participation in the drive," but added that it seems "that many radio stations and other organizations are having drives for Children's Hospital. The good news is that Children's Hospital has benefited." I agree!
And I still haven't quite given up on my dream of exceeding last year's total of $231,000. But each passing day makes that goal seem more distant. I do take great satisfaction in the good we've already achieved.
If you want to help, there's still ten days to get your letter through the pipeline to me. Please send your tax-deductible check, made payable to Children's Hospital, to: Scott Chase, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.
P.S. Two columns relating the gifts from our traditional leaque leader, the U.S. Navy and the Bell Telephone system, are in the works. If your gift falls into one of these categories, now's the time to send it in.
P.P.S. Don't forget the children.