"Enclosed is my check for $25 for Children's Hospital," began an anonymous letter that arrived yesterday. "My contribution doesn't replace the Christmas cards I still sent out. As a former employe of Children's Hospital, I just want to continue having contact with a very worthwhile institution.

"My salary has doubled, but my heart is still where the children receive excellent medical, emotional and psychological care. The memories I have of Children's are priceless.What we give them is so small in comparison to what the children give us.

"My contribution is dedicated to the Psychiatric Unit -- to all the professionals who provide service to the emotionally disturbed and especially to the children who provide us with such a learning experience, and found in the textbooks."

The mail pipeline released that letter and a fat handful of others from individual District Liners and area groups and organizations yesterday. I felt like it was the week before Christmas again. Tremendous!

A single sixth grade student at Westmore Elementary School in Fairfax gathered his friends and "collected discarded paper from a local printing shop for several months. We made book marks, posters and flash cards and sold them to our classmates. We collected $11.26 and we decided to spend it on Children's instead of keeping it for ourselves."

Creativity and entrepreneurship can be a potent combination for Children's. Thank you very much. *tThe customers and friends of Columbia Pike Thrift Shop filled a jar in the store with $22. That check followed an earlier gift of $100 from the employes of the shop.

"Here is our contribution. Every little bit helps," wrote the folks at the Commission on the Review of the Federal Inpact Aid Program. They sent $25.

Two checks for $50 arrived this morning. One came from the people at Chamberlin Inc. which runs the Chamberlin Cafeteria and the Bull 'N Bear Restaurant on 15th St. NW. The owner there remembered his check when he saw me sitting down to lunch.

The other $50 gift came from the Church and School of Wicca. It read:

"The Church of Wicca is made up of devotees of the Old Religion of the Mother Goddess and Father God. Not being at all like the evil creatures of fairy tales, we 'witches' would like to remove the stigma of centuries of misunderstanding and 'bad press.' My friends in North Carolina helped me, a local boy, put together this for Children's Hospital on behalf of the Church of Wicca. So enclosed are two checks -- For the Love of Children -- from the Witches."

Interesting, very interesting.

A letter from an unidentified office, containing $56.44, included the following message:

"The office does not exchange cards and sends the collected amount to the fund. But we want to add a little extra -- a dollar for each returned prisoner plus a penny a day for each day they were held captive. Hope this helps."

Employes of Opportunity Systems Inc., a small Washington office, collected $75 at their Christmas party. Members of the HELP Club, which stands for HELP for Exceptional Little People, continued their annual tradition by forwarding $85 to me for Children's Hospital.

Staffers at the Retired Persons Pharmacy of the NRTA/AARP took us into triple-digit territory with their kind offering of $100. Being in the health industry, they know just how expensive medical care can be.

A check for $120 came from the employes of the Defense Communications Agency's Engineering Directorate, Command and Control Technical Center, located at the Pentagon. The money was raised during raffles held at their annual Christmas party.

An auction at their Christmas party was responsible for a $136 check from the Avon representatives of District 655, which includes parts of Northwest Washington. Chevey Chase and Silver Spring. They are old friends of the hospital.

Those 11 groups added $730.70 to our daily kitty, and 43 anonymous individuals anteed up another $974.44 for a total today of $1,705.14. Yesterday the shoebox held $165,292.31, so it stands to reason that it contains $166,997.45 today.

P.S. Due to space problems next week, "For the Love of Children" will run on Friday, Feb. 6, and Saturday, Feb. 7. The final column, with our grand total, will appear Feb. 14.