Were those blues songs premature? Was I wrong to call my fingernails an endangered species? For the moment at least, it appears that the answers to those questions are yes and yes. Our 1990-'91 Children's Hospital has taken a turn for the better.

We moped through the first two weeks of the campaign, and looked as if we might continue moping for the next six. But suddenly, we have moved ahead of where we were at the same time a year ago -- and that campaign broke all records.

The Week Three figures:

Grand Total to Date: $99,122.81.

Grand Total at the Same Time Last Year: $94,756.88.

Total Given This Week: $38,921.43.

Individual Donations to Date: 879.

Group Donations to Date: 150.

Doubting Thomases will correctly point out that we are only $4,366 ahead of where we were last year at this time -- hardly a king's ransom. But any king will tell you that it's better to be ahead than behind. I'll take it, kiddos, particularly if more of the same is heading for the mailbox.

That's where you readers come in. We count on you each year to swell our totals, and for 42 consecutive holiday seasons, you have come through.

Yet there can never be any laurel-resting around here. Sick kids never disappear from Children's. Neither does the need to provide medical care to kids whose families can't afford to pay for it. Your dollars allow the hospital to do what it has done since 1870: Care for the child first and worry about the bill second.

As we head into the final fortnight of the year, won't you see fit to help needy young people? It's a Washington tradition. Be part of it. Give yourself that nice warm feeling that comes from sending help where it's needed most. Many thanks.


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

Recent group givers to our '1990-'91 campaign:

Women's Auxiliary to the Metropolitan Washington Association of Plumbing-Heating Cooling Contractors, Inc. ($100).

Social Affairs Club No. 1, Grand United Order of Odd Fellows of America and Jurisdiction ($150).

NorVa Switching Control & Support Center, C & P Telephone Co. ($387).

Thank you, one and all.