How to spur thousands of readers into parting with thousands of dollars? You won't see any science brought to bear on that problem from the owner of these flying fingers. I gave up on science somewhere in the middle of freshman physics (or should I say that science gave up on me?). In any case, I earn my keep with a keyboard, not a chemistry set.

As a result, I've always figured that the best way I could act as ringleader of our annual Children's Hospital fund-raising campaign is to cover the hospital the way I'd cover anything else. You'd read my stories about Children's, and those of my sidekick, Michelle Hall, and you'd rush to your checkbooks without delay.

But many readers need neither journalism nor science to help swell our total. They give to the campaign because they've been touched in a special way -- by the hospital, by a particular child, by a wide variety of events and factors. Here are a few of this year's givers, and a few of their reasons for giving:

Rose Lewis Glaser of Rockville, $ 5: "A piece of my eyeglass frame snapped, and the shop had no suggestion other than, 'Start over.' So I tried Pearle Vision Center at Veirs Mill. Not only did its Warren Jarrett provide a replacement for the part, but there was no charge! Therefore the enclosed check . . . ."

Gwen Anderson of Burke Centre,$ 17: "Each year I send in a dollar in thanks for a year of good health for my two wonderful grandchildren, John and Shannon Watson of Springfield. Now they are nine and six, so here is $17. The extra $2 are like the candles on a birthday cake: 'And one to grow on' "

Carol Munger of Bethesda,$ 10: "I had a scary and heartwarming experience on the Beltway last week. I was in the left lane when my front tire just exploded. I somehow managed to steer my car to the right shoulder. I had no sooner raised my trunk lid than two cars stopped. Two good samaritans, George Dudley and Stuart Last-Name-Unknown, changed my tire and had me back on the road in five minutes. Stuart L-N-U even followed me to the next exit, where I could put some air in my spare tire. I am enclosing a check to Children's Hospital in their honor . . . ."

Dorothy S. Lamar of Kensington, $ 5: "On Thursday morning, June 28, at about 10:15 a.m., I was walking north on Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda. As I approached Elm Street, there was a young man picking up a lot of bills in the street. I hastened to help him, thinking he had dropped his money and the money was quickly scattering from the breeze created by moving traffic. As I tried to hand him the money I picked up, he said, 'You keep what you found. I just found this myself' . . . . We both looked around to see if we saw anyone looking for money, or if there was a bank nearby. There was none -- and so I would like Children's Hospital to have what I picked up."

Julie Tabler of Andrews Air Force Base,