Our annual fund-raising campaign on behalf of Children's Hospital is one-eighth finished as of this morning. That's way too early to make accurate predictions about how we will have done when eigth-eighths of the drive is behind us. But the news so far is all good.

The first week totals for 1987-'88 are the best we've ever turned in here at Adding Machine City. They are:

Grand Total to Date: $27,975.36.

Group Donors to Date: 88.

Individual Donors to Date: 270.

We've never before come within $6,000 of that first-week grand total. So you'll excuse me if I permit myself the luxury of a rich, first-week smile. As a wise baseball expert once said (was that you, Yogi?), it's better to be ahead early in the game than it is to be behind.

But as another equally wise baseball expert once said (was that you, Dizzy?), the first inning isn't the whole game. That's why we need help throughout the campaign -- lots of help. And we aren't going to get that help from some anonymous angel. The only angels this fund-raising drive has ever had are people just like you.

So won't you please make out a check, today, while you're thinking of it? Sick kids have depended on you for almost four decades. They still do.

Recent group donors to our campaign include:

Translation Consultants, Ltd. ($100).

The Fort Belvoir Enlisted Wives' Club ($200).

The Posner-Wallace Foundation ($500).

The Hydrodynamics Group at the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab ($50).

Many thanks to all of you.

Donation of the week comes from Gwen Anderson of Burke Centre. She gave $23 to our campaign in honor of her grandchildren, John and Shannon Watson of Springfield.

What makes her donation unusual is the way she arrived at $23.

"To all you grandparents (the lucky people). Why don't you do what I do each year?" Gwen asks. "Give a gift in the names of your grandchildren, based on their ages. Then add a dollar for their past year of good health."

Since John is 12, and Shannon was 9 on Thursday, Gwen ponied up $21 for the sum of those years. Then she added two more dollars for their healthfulness.

An excellent system, Gwen -- so excellent that other grandparents of healthy grandchildren might well want to copy it.


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