Now is the time for our good telephone company employees to come to the aid of Children's Hospital.

As in the past, the friendly and generous people at C & P Telephone and AT&T have produced one of the largest contributions of our annual fundraiser. In fact, this year is the first time that Mother Bell's charges have yielded first place in 31 years.

The U.S. Navy, always in second place, was able to squeeze into first with their record-breaking total of $20,123, reported several days ago.

Anyway, we get to suspend our guideline about listing the gifts in ascending value, and just jump right into it. The shoebox held $208,363.73 when we began. The finishing total should be quite gratifying.

The Washington C&P company is known internally as "Downtown." We'll us their abbreviations, which I understood, so they must be easy. Here is the tally on its gifts:

Bus. Dept. Group Hdqtrs Federal Sector, $503.35; Benefits Ofc. 722 12th St., NW, $55; Pub. Affairs & Admin. Dept. Buildings Dist. $138; Credit Office, 1325 G. St., NW, $191; Wash. Technical Training Center, $1,006.

Congratulations are hereby extended to the donors of the "Wash. Technical Training Center."

There's more! The Fairland Data Center gave $272.73; Hdqtrs Bus. Bill. and Coll. Staff, $40; Hdqtrs Res. & Pub. Servs. $15; Group Treasury, $230; Public Relations, 1825 K St., NW, $21; Downtown I & R Group, $113; Hdqtrs Revenue -- Cost and Economics, $264; Hdqtrs Rates and Tariffs, $359; Network Design and Provisioning Dept., $227.70; Interoffice Facilities District, 2055 L. St., NW $160; and EMS No. 1 X-BAR District, $110.50.

There's lots more. Under the Downtown heading of "Comptrollers Hdqtrs" we received: "Compt. Training, $36; Bus. Research, $45; Corp; Acctng., $57; Taxes, $36. From Data Processing: CRIS, $90, Data Processing Support, $93.75; FCO, $144.71. From the Data Systems Staff: DCAS, 136; DSPS, $97.52; IDP, $195.

And, finally, from the General Internal Auditing crew, $21.

OSP Consturction, 935 V St. NE sent the children $220. Supplies and Motor Equipment gave $66.

Network O.P.E. & Assignment raised $1,062. Special recognition is hereby extended to the NW Test Center and Assignment for their Children's Hospital Luncheon which helped raise the majority of that substantial total.

The I & R DUE Group (Installation and Repair) contributed $97.

Under the Downtown heading of "Headquarters," the following gifts were logged:

Line Operations, $45; Serv. Evaluations, Safety & Admin. Serv. Support, $30; Residence I & R, $135; Systems Control, $25; Functional Acctg., $40; Rate Planning DC/MD, $35; Serv. Order Systems, $121; Bus., Res. & Implementation, $232; and Bus. and Res. Services, $76. Headquarters checks in with an overall total of $736.

Catch-all, categories include Special Services with $400, Businesss Office for Business Accounts, $326.03, Headquarters Network Organization, $358.56, and Miscellaneous (a real catch-all), $63.

Downtown total: $8,111.05.

We're getting so close to our goal of $223,000 I can almost smell success.

The "Washington Suburban Area" known as Maryland also came through in their traditional way. Their contributions were divided among seven organizational sub-headings.

Under Network Egr. & Prov.-WSAM: Construction Outside Plant-East, $288; Engr. & Assign.-East, $211.25; Construction Outside Plant-West, $440; and Engr. & Assign.-West, $295.

From Network Operations-WSAM: Switching-East, $36; Switiching-West, $329.

From Residence-WSAM: Bus. ofc.-Hyatts., Riggs, Tmhl, Central. Ave., $24; I & R Prince George's Co., Laural, Annapolis, $246; I & R-Bus.-Montgomery Co., $528.30; and from Bus.-Special Services, $115.

Marketing contributed $166.50; Executive, divided into two parts, donated $120.69 (BS & ME, $55.69; Staff, $65), and Legal, Secretary, and Forecasting gave $35.

Maryland total: $3,504.

Individual letters arriving in my name at The Washington Post brought $167.69 from members of the Training and Development Quality Assurance District in Silver Spring. From the same address was an $800 contribution from the Training and Development Department.

The telephone people in northern Virginia (Norva in Bell jargon) gave their contribution of $1,940.65 through two (for the road) famous radio personalities. Norva Special Services did send me $116.50.

The programming staff at AT&T Long Lines sent $860 in lieu of Christmas card exchanges. Their Government Communications Group collected $349.

The Bell and AT&T contributions bring the shoebox to a near record-breaking total of $222,155.47. Thanks!