The mailbox has been making like the Mississippi in May. It's overflowing. Some recent gifts of note from groups and organizations to our annual fund-raising campaign on behalf of Children's Hospital:

* "Instead of the usual present we buy for our boss," writes Phil Leiter, the gang in the carpentry shop at Jaffe Construction Co. decided to give $80 to Children's. Thanks to the hammer-and-saw set.

* Through raffles held at its annual Christmas dinner, the Campanelli Unit of Home Interiors and Gifts raised $70 for the hospital -- for which, thanks.

* The staff at the Center for Assessment and Demographic Studies at Gallaudet College contributed $100. From one worthy institution to another. Thanks, demographers.

* Another $100 was contributed by the Staff Recycling Committee of The Aluminum Association, Inc. -- and they collected it the way an aluminum association should. All year long, writes Colleen E. Brady, staffers have been tossing used aluminum cans into large trash containers that are provided in the association's lunch and meeting rooms. As soon as the containers are full, Colleen and friends have been taking the contents to a nearby recycling center, which forks over cash. An idea for other offices to copy.

* Thanks to the Maryland Sewing Machine and Vacuum Cleaner Center of Camp Springs for a $200 contribution, and to the Harry F. Duncan Foundation, Inc., of Silver Spring for a $1,000 check.

* The Benefit Bridge Club of Falls Church and McLean sent in $50, and the bridge group at the Somerset Woman's Club of Fairfax added $34. Both donations were accumulated through "penny pots." What are they? They're funds to which members must contribute every time they fail to make a contract. I don't wish unsuccessful contracts on any "bridgie," but in this case, failure has led to a good result.

* The management and supervisory staff at the Treasury Department's Washington Disbursing Center (part of the Bureau of Government Financial Operations) passed the hat and collected $77.25. Many thanks, disbursers.

Two sides of the CIA: One check for $50 arrived from the staff of the Training Support Division, Office of Training and Education. Doris A. Stilwell was proud to list both her name and her department's in big, bold black and white. But then came another check -- this one for $45, with a note that identified the donors only as "An Office in CIA." Thanks to those CIAers in from the cold and those still out there.

* Another group at the CIA decided that the intelligence-gathering process couldn't proceed without cookies. So the Production Control Staff of the Office of Central Reference had a bake sale. The result was $180, which Judith B. Leach and her co-workers gave to the hospital. Thanks so much.

* The Lewisdale Citizens' Association of Hyattsville contributed $50 to our cause, as did the Community Woman's Club of Annandale and the Bee & Jay Machine Shop of Forestville. Many thanks to all three.

* Heraldic Art, a shop in Arlington, donated $200 to Children's. A tip of the falcon wings to you, folks.

* The employes of the Rodman's Drugs outlet on Georgia Avenue collected $26 for the campaign. Meanwhile, a little farther north on the same thoroughfare, the staff of the Wheaton office of the American Automobile Association collected an additional $40.52. Thanks for the good offices of both offices.

* The Past Commanders Club of Wheaton Post 268 of The American Legion contributed $105, as did the staff of the Current Assets Accounting Department at The Marriott Corporation. Muchas gracias to all concerned.

* A fund-raiser within a fund-raiser? Sounds like too much to hope for. But that's exactly what happened the other night at the Christmas meeting of the Northern Charles County Unit of the American Cancer Society. Taking a break from their own efforts to raise money, the ACSers passed the hat and collected $34 for Children's. Special thanks to a group that knows how hard those bucks are to gather.

* Four $25 contributions have graced the mailbox. Senders were Chuck's Auto Parts of Marlow Heights, GAMMA (Gay Married Men's Association) of Washington, Unit 67 of the Ladies Auxiliary Fleet Reserve Association and the Northern Virginia Ladies Bowling League. Thanks to all of you.

* Instead of sending Christmas cards to friends and business acquaintances, Rozansky and Kay Construction Company of Bethesda donated $500 to Children's. Thanks to Alan Kay and Buddy Rozansky, general partners.

* A particularly light-hearted check for $55 was sent by the "MAD Department" of the United Mine Workers of America funds office. "MAD stands for Management Analysis Dept.," explains an anonymous cover note, "but you can interpret it any way you want." I've been around enough offices to know exactly what you mean, MADmen and MADwomen. Many thanks.

* From the land of Uncle Sam come four donations: $55 from the national and regional staffs of the Office of Cost Determination at the Labor Department, $221.70 from the Consumer Nutrition Division of the Agriculture Department, $41 from members of the Civilian Personnel Office of the U.S. Army Garrison at Vint Hill Farms Station in Warrenton and $100 from the employes of the Information and Management Services Division at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It's always wonderful to see how you Fabulous Federals come through. Thanks for doing so again.

* Like so many other employe groups, the Fairfax County Police Motorcycle Squad decided not to exchange cards at Christmas, but to give the money to Children's instead. The result was $65, "with a reminder to your readers to drive extra carefully this holiday season." Appreciate both the check and the nudge, fellas.

* And finally, it was great to hear again from "Aunt Betsy" Crenshaw and The Kids of Fairfax Square, a subdivision in Fairfax. Aunt Betsy lives in the subdivision, and every year she encourages her young neighbors to donate their coins for the benefit of Children's. Last year, the total take was $4.67. This year, the tabulating has just been completed, and the bottom line reads $28.87. Would that we all increased our donations by more than 600 percent! Thanks to Betsy and all her friends.

To contribute to the campaign:

Make a check or money order payable to Children's Hospital and mail it to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.