How you can help

We would like your help...

Patients at State hospitals and clinics in South Africa are typically destitute, malnourished, as well as being very sick or injured. Many are jobless, many are homeless, and many have no loved-ones to provide the basic needs for them in hospital.

The Ruth Mailbag Group strives to provide for the needs of destitute moms and babies in the maternity and NICU of our local state hospital and several other hospitals in our country who have asked for our help by providing them with a basic baby pack for their new and or sick babies.

If you can assist please get in touch with us through joy.coetzee@gmail.com or visit our blog at http://theruthmailbaggroup.blogspot.com/ for more information.

Yours sincerely,
Joy Coetzee
Founder – The Ruth Mailbag Group

Or a hospital near you... please, browse through the following list, I’m sure you will find a government hospital near you to support:
Contact Details of Public Hospitals in South Africa - http://www.doh.gov.za/show.php?id=2890
Eastern Cape - http://www.info.gov.za/aboutgovt/contacts/prov/ecape.htm
Gauteng Province - http://www.health.gpg.gov.za/Institutions/Pages/Hospitals.aspx
Johannesburg - http://www.joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&id=43&Itemid=75
KZN - http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/hospitals1.htm; http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/hospitals.htm
Port Elizabeth - http://www.nelsonmandelabay.gov.za/Content.aspx?objID=103
Western Cape - http://www.westerncape.gov.za/eng/directories/facilities/6423

Friday, 21 August 2015

NEWSLETTER 8 OF 2015

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP - NEWSLETTER 8 OF 2015

Kindly note that no item may be sold, they are to be given to the babies and their moms free of any charge!!!

Sincere thanks to everyone who makes and donates items to hospital patients and others in need of warmth and/or comfort.  Your good deeds are appreciated and make this world a nicer place.  The Ruth Mailbag Group (the good people who participate) are my antidote to the evening news.  You make a positive difference in this world.  Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and enjoyable spring!

This is a particularly substantial newsletter as I have included the “information book” and “hospital listings” for your information.  Happy reading!

Please visit our Facebook page to see acknowledgements for donations and photos of your beautiful work.  Thank you, for sending photos of your work, you will find these photos on our Facebook page.  I enjoy sharing all your photos and reports, please keep on sharing.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ruth-Mailbag-Group/153666104700531.

A few HINTS to get you started

When making items for new-borns, especially hats, PLEASE use soft yarns.
Babies have delicate skin - thick or chunky yarns will not work.
Ask the hospital where you are donating for suggestions on patterns to use, colours, sizes.
To fit a new born make the hat stretchy and large enough to fit on a grapefruit.

There are many tiny, new babies in need of warm hats, booties and blankets.  I started making preemie/new born items because my eldest son was born early and my daughter although term was very small.  I started creating clothing that fitted him, then her, as it was not possible to buy such small garments.  In my opinion they were the best dressed little people in town!

Gifting

Friday, 24 July 2015: Gifted 81 vest, hat and soft toy sets to Walton Street Clinic for Breastfeeding Week via Gil Richmond for distribution to the babies who visit the clinic from 1 to 7 August.  Thank you to all who contributed in any way, your support is much appreciated.

Sunday, 26 July 2015: Gifted 34 babies.  The moms delighted with the knitted and or crocheted blankets.  Staff friendly and helpful.  Thank you to Mariette and Mary Ann for helping me carry and distribute the gifts.  Thank you to all who contributed in any way at all, your support is much appreciated.

Thursday, 30 July 2015: Gifted to Gateway Clinic for Breastfeeding Week via Gil Richmond for distribution to the babies and moms who visit the clinic from 1 to 7 August – 80 hat and vest sets for babies; 2 sleeping bags; 1 blue quilt; 1 white scarf, beret & gloves for mom; 1 black scarf, gloves and blue hat for mom and 1 rose scarf, hat and gloves for mom.  Thank you to all who contributed in any way, your support is much appreciated.

Sunday, 09 August 2015: Gifted 8 newborn and 25 preemie babies.  Moms delighted with their baby sets.  Staff friendly and helpful.  Thank you to all who contributed in any way at all, your support is much appreciated.

Sunday, 16 August 2015:  New security detail again today, what a nightmare, they look you up and down as though you are a criminal and do not understand a word you are saying, or do not want to understand, some days I wonder why I even bother!!!  However, a lady security officer arrived who knew me and waved me through, despite all the hollering from the others, she did eventually get them to understand her.  Gifted 24 newborn and 13 preemie babies, Moms happy with their baby sets and very friendly and the staff on the wards friendly and helpful.  Thank you to all who contributed in any way at all, your support is much appreciated.

When you are personally gifting at your hospital or other organisation it is recommended that you package completed items in plastic bags in order to ensure freshness and cleanliness of each item. Do not add potpourri, sachet, or any fragrances. Do not use fabric softeners, if you wash completed items.  Be proud of your hard work and present it neatly to the recipient.

ADDRESS LABEL CHANGE - the new message needs to read: BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY - NO COMMERCIAL VALUE. The label needs to be added to the front of the parcel. Please write a value of '0' or '1' at the most on the customs ticket.
Postal Instructions - Customs Duty - Very Important: We would ask you to take special notice of these instructions to avoid unnecessary duty being paid on your parcels as they arrive in South Africa.
Please mark clearly: BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY - NO COMMERCIAL VALUE.
Please do not register your letters, parcels, packages or boxes.
Please do not give a monetary value on your parcels (or only the minimum amount as instructed by your post office).
Please do use your good old post office unless you do not have one; it has come to our attention that the customs paid to couriers is higher than that paid at the post office.
We have to pay minimal duty on most large parcels arriving. However even just a small monetary value on a parcel attracts far higher duties. Letters, parcels, packages and boxes continue to arrive safely in volumes without any registration or monetary values appended to them.
MOISTURE FREE: Wrap your crocheted, knitted and sewn items in a plastic bag, bubble wrap or buy postal bags with an inner plastic coating to keep them moisture proof. Tape your parcels well.
POSTAL ADDRESS: The Ruth Mailbag Group, BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY - NO COMMERCIAL VALUE, C/o Foto First, 10 Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370, South Africa.
OR
The Ruth Mailbag Group, BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY - NO COMMERCIAL VALUE, C/o Elna Knitting and Sewing Centre, 74 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Please add a note with your email address so that I may acknowledge your parcel.
Thank you for your support!

12 September - International Crochet Day – “Jimbo’s Front Porch” declared this international holiday for the first time back in 2007. Here’s what Jimbo said about why he started it:  “I have thought for a long time now that the art of crochet and those who practice the art deserve some significant recognition. And so in my great power as the Ruthless Tyrant of my vast hook empire have decided to declare that Sept 12, 2007 will be a Holiday that I’m cleverly calling “International Crochet Day”.
International Crochet Day is not some huge holiday that everyone knows about but it’s a holiday that has gained awareness and attention year upon year. Crochet gets a lot more praise as a craft these days than it did when the holiday was launched. By celebrating this holiday, you celebrate your craft, the crafty community and creativity in general!

Meeting - We dispensed with tradition and asked Gil and Doreen to open the meeting with the report back on their visit at Walton Street Clinic for Mandela Day.  It was obvious that they all had a wonderful time with the staff, moms and babies.
Then Gil was asked to report back on her visit at Walton Street Clinic and Gateway Clinic for Breastfeeding Week.  Once again she had a wonderful time with the staff, moms and babies and has kindly posted photos on our Facebook page.
Thank you for your awesome support!  It was good to see you.  Those ladies, who were not present, are assured that they were missed and we trust that you will be in a position to attend the next meeting.  I think our winter weather may have kept many at home.
I wanted to thank you but then I realized I don’t know where to begin. So, I just wanted to say that there are so many things I couldn’t have done without you, e.g. Mandela Day and Breastfeeding Week.  Thank you!
Gifting is going well at the moment and you would never say that just a few months ago we had a crippling postal strike that nearly halted operations at our end.  Bless you all and thank you for your generosity and kindness in making these baby packs possible, you have no idea what a difference your items make in the lives of these moms and their babies, each and every item no matter how small, is much appreciated.
Reminder!  The Ruth Mailbag Group meetings are held on the 1st Saturday of the month at 2 o’clock at the Juana Maria Home.  Thank you, Juana Maria Home, for your hospitality.
Project through August for 12 September – International Crochet Day – get those hooks out and crochet up a storm for the babies and their mommies.
Please remember that our collection points are at Foto First and Elna Sewing and Knitting Centre.
Joy spoke about her disappointment at the lack of acknowledgement from Siyathemba and Gail explained their various difficulties, logistics being the greatest of them all.  Noted.
Eileen mentioned that Gail Hillenaar would like her purple blankets to go to the abused babies, as we are no longer supporting the Child Protection Unit, they will need to be sent to Victory Haven, home for abused women and children. Joy to liaise with Gil Richmond about this donation for Urmila Riga.
The show and tell as always was very exciting, encouraging, and enjoyable; we always learn from each other, and never cease to be amazed at the beautiful, original work we all produce for our babies.
The meeting closed with a message of thanks and wishes for a blessed month for each of us, our mommies and their babies, until we meet again, same time, same place.

Reminder!  The Ruth Mailbag Group Meetings, 1st Saturday of the month, February through November, 14h00 –  about 16h00, Juana Maria Home, Francis Road, Ladysmith, KZN.  Thank you, Juana Maria, for your hospitality!  Bring your charity knitting, crocheting & sewing; any yarn and or patterns to swap, etc.  January - in recess!  December – end of year get together!  See you there!!!

Dates To Remember In 2015 / 16 - We will concentrate on items for the babies (premature and new born).  Please donate items such as baby clothing, new or gently used and handcrafted items, etc.  These “challenges” are just for fun, to give you some ideas in case you can’t think of anything to make.  They are NOT mandatory and not intended to be prescriptive.  These are projects you can choose to support if you wish!  Let’s warm and comfort the babies!

If you would like to make changes to this programme please send me your suggestions to joy.coetzee@gmail.com.  Thank you.

September for November – Click for Babies / Purple hat project (Awareness of Shaken baby syndrome and Period of Purple Crying) - hats for new born babies
October for 17 November – World Prematurity Day
November for 25 December – Christmas Day (small soft toys for new born babies)
December for 1 January – New Year’s Day
January for 14 February – Valentine’s Day
February for 17 March – St Patrick’s Day
March for 5 April – Easter Sunday
April for 15 May – International Kangaroo Care Day (Emphasis on our premature and very small babies)
May for 13 June – World Wide Knit in Public Day
June for 18 July – Nelson Mandela Day – Walton Street Clinic, Gateway Clinic and our babies
July for 1 – 7 August – Breastfeeding week – Walton Street Clinic and Gateway Clinic
July also for 9 August – National Women’s Day (Emphasis on our Boarder Moms and their babies)
August for 12 September – International Crochet Day / Spring Day

Please Address All Your Post To:
The Ruth Mailbag Group, BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY - NO COMMERCIAL VALUE, C/o Foto First, 10 Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370, RSA,
OR
The Ruth Mailbag Group, BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY - NO COMMERCIAL VALUE, C/o Elna Sewing and Knitting Centre, 74 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370, RSA.
(PLEASE USE YOUR GOOD OLD POST OFFICE!!!) And please follow our postal instructions carefully.
Thank you in advance for your support!

Baby hat drive:  We are having a baby hat drive called Click for Babies. (The clicking of knitting needles, that is.) We are looking for new born purple hats to raise awareness about infant abuse.

Your knitted, crocheted, sewn, loomed or bought caps will help educate the community about the Period of PURPLE Crying; a normal, although frustrating, period of increased crying all infants experience in the first few weeks to months after birth. Intense frustration with an infant’s inconsolable crying is the No. 1 reason someone has a momentary loss of control. Our PURPLE baby caps will educate everyone about the normalcy of crying and serve as a reminder that IT IS NEVER OKAY TO SHAKE OR HARM AN INFANT.

The Letters in PURPLE Stand for
PEAK OF CRYING - Your baby may cry more each week.  The most at 2 months, then less at 3 – 5 months.
UNEXPECTED - Crying can come and go and you don’t know why.
RESISTS SOOTHING - Your baby may not stop crying no matter what you try.
PAIN-LIKE FACE - A crying baby may look like they are in pain, even when they are not.
LONG LASTING - Crying can last as much as 5 hours a day, or more.
EVENING - Your baby may cry more in the late afternoon and evening.

When a crying baby starts frustrating or angering you, it is time to take a break.  Ask your spouse, partner, a relative or friend if they could help with the baby for a while. If none of these options are available, set your baby gently in a safe place and walk away for a little while, you can come back when you are feeling calmer.

We ask that you knit, crochet, sew, buy and deliver or mail new born baby hats (purple ones!) for distribution in November to the mom of a new born baby.

Please consider contributing, folks. Baby hats are a snap to make or buy, they don't take much yarn, and this is a worthy cause.  Thank you for your support!

Please Remember We Have Various Outreaches That We Support (by giving them the items we cannot use for the babies) –

Harrismith Crèche at Harrismith and the Psychiatric Hospital at Bloemfontein – Doreen Brits doreenbrits@worldonline.co.za

Ikhaya Lethu at Colenso and Siyathemba at Durban – Gail Rozendaal gail.rozendaal@gmail.com

Môrester Children’s Home – Judy Maccarone is your contact person (telephone number on request)

Walton Street Clinic, Gateway Clinic and The Child Welfare (Urmila Riga) – Gil Richmond richmort@telkomsa.net

Groups That Share Our Interest in Helping Babies and Their Mommies

Beanies And Blankets For Babies - We knit, crochet, sew and donate items to babies and moms in King Dinuzulu and Murchison Hospitals, KZN, larger sizes go to Creighton, southern Drakensberg

Bowlers 4 Babies – We aim to make up gift packs to give to the new mothers at the local Provincial hospitals.  Inspired by The Ruth Mailbag Group and Joy Coetzee

Amor Group works for the babies born at Steve Biko in Pretoria

Ten Thousand Blocks For Amor works for the Amor Group

We would like your help...

Patients at State hospitals and clinics in South Africa are typically destitute, malnourished, as well as being very sick or injured. Many are jobless, many are homeless, and many have no loved-ones to provide the basic needs for them in hospital.

The Ruth Mailbag Group strives to provide for the needs of destitute moms and babies in the maternity and NICU of our local state hospital by providing them with a basic baby pack for their new and or sick babies.

However, there are many hospitals who do not enjoy this support and I encourage you to identify a hospital near you that would appreciate your help and then set about forming a knitting group.

Want to form a knitting group to knit, crochet, sew, loom and quilt for charity in a community of friends? The same as a book club, a knitting group can be the basis for lifelong friendships. Being united in a common purpose, by knitting for charity, makes the effort even more meaningful.

Here are some suggestions for how to get a knitting/crocheting/sewing/quilting group together:

1. Start by inviting immediate family and friends and ask them if they know anyone else who would be interested.

2. Settle on one regular date e.g. second Wednesday of every month. Try not to change it once started just to accommodate one member. Once the regularity is affected, the group tends to break apart. Just make it on a ‘come if you can’ basis.

3. Agree to host it on a rotational basis, or go to a local wool or craft shop and ask if they would host it after hours.

4. If at home, decide whether the host is going to supply food and beverages. Efforts will be greatly rewarded by the conviviality of sharing food together, but also the enjoyment of meals shared at other member’s homes. Food is definitely a topic of enthusiasm for most people and recipe sharing an added benefit!

5. Make sure for the first meeting that everyone brings wool, a pair of needles and a darning needle and any donations for gifting. If they are already involved in a knitting project ask them to bring it to show the group. Arrange a collection point e.g. a local wool or craft shop. Decide on which hospital or clinic will be receiving the gifts. Name the group.  The ‘brand’ remains the same, but the community and branch differs to accommodate and benefit the local community.

7. Contribute knitting group stories, patterns, and successes, and send photos to the Ruth Mailbag Group at joy.coetzee@gmail.com .

Items We Can Use for Our New Born and Preemie Babies (1.6 Kg and Heavier): These items may be handmade (knit, crochet, loom or sew), bought (new and or good quality second hand i.e. gently used)

Baby Blanket (Fleece): not smaller than 30 inch squares
Baby Gowns / Nighties
Baby Socks / Booties
Baby Sweater / Jacket: That buttons down the front.
Baby Wash Cloths / Sponges
Barrier Cream / Vaseline
Diaper / Nappy Pins
Diapers / Nappies: cloth, towelling or disposable for new-born
Fleece wear or snowsuits
Hats: a soft, warm hat that covers the ears.
Leggings or pull-on pants: stretchy waistbands that fit easily over baby's diaper / nappy and belly.
One-piece outfits: appropriate for sleeping and playing.
Onesies (undershirts / vests)
Pyjamas or sleepers: Avoid sleepwear that has complicated snaps or requires lots of effort to get on or off!
Receiving Baby Blanket: not smaller than 30 inch squares
Shirts: T-shirts and turtlenecks with plenty of room in the neck, or snaps at the neck, so they slip easily over child's head or one-piece styles that snap at the crotch.
Soap (baby)
Wearable blankets / sleeping bags: These fleece or cotton sacks zip over baby's sleepwear to keep them warm at night. They replace traditional blankets.

Items We Can Use For Our Moms:

Toothbrush
Toothpaste / Mini Toothpaste
Hand Towels
Wash Cloths / face cloths / sponge
Soap / Mini Soap
During the winter months: bed socks / adult size beanies / scarves / fingerless gloves

Happy charity crafting!!!
Joy Coetzee – Founder
The Ruth Mailbag Group
Fax 086 516 4618

Forums

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP INFORMATION BOOK

The Ruth Mailbag Group is slowly but surely becoming a nationwide group of volunteers who provide handmade / bought / good quality second hand baby items to state hospitals. Volunteers who knit, crochet, and sew are invited to join the effort.
The Ruth Mailbag Group was born 13 years ago as a personal effort to provide much needed apparel for premature and new born infants in my local state hospital. Because of the high demand efforts began to recruit others to join the group.
As The Ruth Mailbag Group grew, it became impossible for me to manage the distribution effort. Therefore, volunteers were urged to deliver completed items directly to hospitals in their community. Thus, there is no way to accurately estimate the actual number of garments delivered to hospitals across the country.
Donations of yarn, fabric, and supplies have been received from individuals, manufacturers, and retailers, these donated supplies are distributed to volunteers who request assistance e.g. pensioners and persons living on grants, etc.
At this stage, The Ruth Mailbag Group is an information source for prospective volunteers. There are no membership rules, no dues, no quotas, or obligations. It is hoped that volunteers will contact local hospitals to learn what is needed, and or, send completed items to one of the hospitals on the Hospital List.
The Ruth Mailbag Group items are given FREE to infants, children, and their parents. The families usually keep the items as a memento, especially those for tiny preemies. The focus of The Ruth Mailbag Group’s efforts has been premature and new born infants. There is the most demand for the larger preemie and full-term sizes of jackets, hats and booties. Most hospitals welcome small (30" x30") blankets and quilts. Volunteers provide all of the supplies and may use leftover yarn and fabric. Seasonal and holiday colours are popular - as well as pastels and multicolour stripes.
Join simply means to help. Once you create an item and give it to an individual or hospital, you have joined.
Please refer to the Hospital List. The Ruth Mailbag Group is already assisting the hospitals/groups that are listed. You may send items directly to one of the participating hospitals or you may contact a hospital in your own community. To learn the needs of your local hospital, contact the hospital personnel.
Yarn that may be washed in hot water with harsh detergents and disinfectants should be used for The Ruth Mailbag Group projects. Feel free to vary colours with the season. Holiday colours, sports team colours, multi-colour stripes, and pastels may be used.
It is recommended that you package completed items in plastic bags in order to ensure freshness and cleanliness of each item. Do not add potpourri, sachet, or any fragrances. Do not use fabric softeners, if you wash completed items.
As more and more people learn of the needs of neonatal intensive care units at hospitals, some hospitals may be "flooded" with very tiny hats. Please consider making blankets, mittens, or other items and if you make hats, make an assortment of sizes. There are full-term infants in NICUs/ICUs, too.

How can I help?

HOSPITALS / GROUPS IN NEED OF BABY FRIENDLY ITEMS

Please join me in helping to send every baby born at government hospitals home in something warm and cosy. Most of the families who have babies there have nothing to bring their babies home in. That’s where we come in. The members of The Ruth Mailbag Group encourage local communities to provide warm, handmade, bought or gently used items for these families.  CAN YOU KNIT, CROCHET OR SEW?  Then why not join us or send in your finished items.  Please remember to add your name and email so we can let you know they have arrived...   THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR KINDNESS!

For your convenience all hospitals that The Ruth Mailbag Group is already assisting can be found on the list, “Hospitals in Need of Baby Friendly Items”. The hospital name and address, the name of a staff liaison person, and the list of items that hospital wishes to receive are all posted. You may send items directly to one of the participating hospitals or you may contact a hospital in your own community.

Kindly note that no item may be sold, they are to be given to the babies and their moms free of any charge!!!

Please mark all packages “BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY – NO COMMERCIAL VALUE”.

Thank you, in anticipation!

Please request updated list of “Hospitals in Need of Baby Friendly Items”.

If the hospital you are working for or crafting for is not listed, please, send me the particulars and I will add their listing free of any charge...

FREE LISTING – HOSPITALS WHO NEED BABY FRIENDLY ITEMS: Please complete tear strip below and return to joy.coetzee@gmail.com or fax 086 516 4618 or mail to: The Ruth Mailbag Group, C/o P C Galaxy, 23 b Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370.

Name of hospital:
Address for donations:
     Postal:
     Street:
Name of staff liaison person:
Telephone number of staff liaison person:
Fax:
Email:
Web:
Needs:

INTERESTING ARTICLES AT THE FOLLOWING LINKS:
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/how-can-i-help.html
http://thefamily.com/2011/12/13/charity-knitting-and-crocheting-ideas-and-tips-bev-qualheim/

SIZING CHARTS CAN BE FOUND AT THE FOLLOWING LINK:
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/size-chart.html

POSTAL INSTRUCTIONS - CUSTOMS DUTY - VERY IMPORTANT: We would ask you to take special notice of these instructions to avoid unnecessary duty being paid on your parcels as they arrive in South Africa.
Please mark clearly: BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY - FOR CHARITY ONLY.
Please do not register your letters, parcels, packages or boxes.
Please do not give a monetary value on your parcels (or only the minimum amount as instructed by your post office)
Please do use your good old post office unless you do not have one; it has come to our attention that the customs paid to couriers is higher than that paid at the post office
We have to pay minimal duty on most large parcels arriving. However even just a small monetary value on a parcel attracts far higher duties. Letters, parcels, packages and boxes continue to arrive safely in volumes without any registration or monetary values appended to them.
MOISTURE FREE
Wrap your crocheted, knitted and sewn items in a plastic bag, bubble wrap or buy postal bags with an inner plastic coating to keep them moisture proof. Tape your parcels well.
POSTAL ADDRESS
Address all your post to: The Ruth Mailbag Group, BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY – FOR CHARITY ONLY, C/o Foto First, 10 Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370, South Africa or a government hospital of your choice.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Please add a note with your email address so that your parcel may be acknowledged.
Thank you for your support!

YOU MAY USE ANY PATTERN OF YOUR OWN CHOICE to fit 1.6 kg to new born babies.  (Please do not use 100% wool, acrylic is more durable!!!):
What can you do to spread the word?
There are many ways that you can help spread the word about The Ruth Mailbag Group. Many of you have already started which is a wonderful testimony to your generosity.
1. Share this information book with all your online family, friends, colleagues and print some for those who do not have email.
2. JOIN RAVELRY.COM - http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-ruth-mailbag-group
3. JOIN THE FACE BOOK GROUP - https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ruth-Mailbag-Group/153666104700531
Join today, you won't regret it.
4. CONTRIBUTE TO A KNITTING BLOG - If you belong to, or find a knitting blog, contribute a message to it that explains what The Ruth Mailbag Group aims are with a link to the site.  You can also visit our blog at - http://theruthmailbaggroup.blogspot.com/
5. WRITE TO THE EDITOR OF A KNITTING / CROCHET MAGAZINE - If you are a subscriber of various craft, crochet or knitting magazines write to the editors and point them in the direction of The Ruth Mailbag Group. Or if your local paper has a charity supplement, perhaps you could let them know about The Ruth Mailbag Group.
6. INVOLVE YOUR CROCHET AND KNITTING GROUP - Involve whichever groups you belong to, your book club, sports club, theatre group, walking group, fitness class. Someone you talk to will be interested in wanting to help. They will have friends who would like to contribute and so the wonderful connections will be made.
Bless you and thank you for your support!!!

HOSPITALS IN NEED OF BABY FRIENDLY ITEMS LISTING

Please join me in helping to send every baby born at a government hospital home in something warm and cosy. Most of the families who have babies there have nothing to bring their babies home in. That’s where we come in. We encourage local communities to provide warm, handmade, bought or gently used items for these families.  CAN YOU KNIT, CROCHET OR SEW?  Then why not join us or send in your finished items.  Please remember to add your name and email so we can let you know they have arrived...

For your convenience all hospitals that The Ruth Mailbag Group is already supporting can be found here.  You may send items directly to one of the participating hospitals or you may contact a hospital in your own community.

Important: Before parting with your handmade items and expensive postage, communicate with the group or charity or hospital you wish to send to, to make sure your items are required and will be used, also check that they are still distributing items and when their next distribution will be.

Satisfy yourself that your items are wanted and appreciated. There are plenty of groups crying out for your items so make sure you send them to the best place.

If you are a group or charity please acknowledge the items you have received by email, message or acknowledgement on the appropriate Facebook page.

We have our own donation group, The Ruth Mailbag Group, where we collect items for babies and their moms.

Kindly note that no item may be sold, they are to be given to the babies and their moms free of any charge!!!

Please mark all packages “BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY – NO COMMERCIAL VALUE”.

If the hospital you are working for or crafting for is not listed, please, send me the particulars and I will add their listing free of any charge...

Thank you, in anticipation!

Amor vir Premmie- en Siek Baba’s – Steve Biko Hospitaal, Pretoria – https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/236101209863890/

Baby Buddies Group:  Rob Ferreira Hospital and Temba Hospital, Nelspruit.  - Contact persons Brenda Davies and Gaynor Fetting at yumyum528@vodamail.co.za.  In our town there is also a group called Care Buddies, ladies who visit our oldies in old age homes. These wonderful ladies have got their oldies knitting and socialising on our behalf and the combination has been wonderful, old supporting young and in return having a common interest and something to share and talk about in the lounge where they meet.

Beanies And Blankets For Babies: King Dinuzulu Hospital Complex (previously King George V Hospital)
Address: PO DOMERTON 4019, South Africa; Physical Address: Corner of Dr R D Naidoo drive and Viola Road, Sydenham Durban.  For attention: Mr Thami Chizama (PRO).  Email: thami.chizama@kznhealth.gov.za.  Tel: 0312426000.  Fax: 0312099586.  www.kznhealth.gov.za/kinggeorgevhospital.htm.  Needs: Baby receiving blankets, rompers, vests, nappies, socks, hats, baby wipes, towels, face cloths.
CONTACT PERSON: Snoeks Desmond: I live in a block of flats where access is controlled so people will have to contact me before arriving with gifts.  Address: 3 Achadhu, 337 Montpelier Road, Durban 4001, South Africa.  Phone: 031-2076503 / 0837835117.  Email: Snoeks@global.co.za.  Group: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beanies-and-Blankets-for-Babies/1430102543930319

Bertha Gxowa Hospital - Address for donations: Maternity Ward, Cnr. Angus & Joubert Street, Germiston.  Postal: Private Bag X1035, Germiston, 1400 South Africa.  Name of staff liaison person: Mrs NJ Korong.  Telephone number of staff liaison person: (011) 089-8500 Ext 1244.  Fax: (011) 825-5425.  Email: Jeanette.Korong@gauteng.gov.za.  Needs: Kangaroo Abbas, vests, jerseys, booties, hats (prems and full term new-borns).  General: Receiving blankets

Busfare Babies Birth Centre - Address for donations: Box 411, Kidds Beach 5264, South Africa
Name and telephone number of staff liaison person: Karen Clark 082 776 3622.  Fax: 0865544361
Email: karen@birthworks.co.za.  www.birthworks.co.za. Needs: preterm and term baby clothes, hats, booties, blankets.  General: nappies, sanitary pads, cotton baby blankets.  We would welcome tiny baby clothes. We have had a few premature babies although most of the babies born at Busfare Babies Birth Centre are term. Our babies generally weigh between 2-4.5kg and we send all mums home with girl or boy baby bags so we welcome any contributions which can go into these bags. For all babies small and big we always need hats too.  Your donations would be much appreciated.

Ceza Hospital - Address for donations: Echibini Area, CEZA 3866.  Postal: Private Bag x200 CEZA 3866, South Africa.  Street: Echibini Road.  Name of staff liaison person: Londiwe Dlamini.  Telephone number of staff liaison person: 035 832 5181/ 076 623 2259.  Needs: beanies, bootees, vests, receivers, rompers.  Fax: 035 832 0057.  Email: londiwe.dlamini2@kznhealth.gov.za.  Web: http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/cezahospital.htm

Charles Johnson Memorial Hospital - Address for donations: PRIVATE BAG X 5503, NQUTHU 3135, South Africa.  Name and telephone number of staff liaison person: Lillian M. Ntuli – 082 260 5700 Tel: 034 271 6462; Fax: 034 271 0169; Cell: 079 523 7970; E-mail Sthabiso.ngwenya@kznhealth.gov.za.  Web: http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/cjmhospital.htm.  Needs: Preemie booties & hats in traditional pastels (pink, blue, green, yellow).  General: blankets for babies

Dundee Hospital - Address for donations: 121 Mckenzie Streetn or Private Bag X2011, Dundee, 3000, South Africa.  Name of staff liaison person: Mbali Ntshingila – Public Relations Officer.  Telephone: 034 212 1111 ext. 237 cell: 079 546 9438.  Fax: 086 733 5309.  Email: sethabile.ntshingila@kznhealth.gov.za.  Web: www.kznhealth.gov.za/dundeehospital.htm.  Needs: New born baby clothes.

Far East Rand Hospital - Name of staff liaison persons: PRO, Hendrik Buda on 011 812 8419 or Fax: 011 817 3525 / 813 1411 or Email: hendrik.buda@gauteng.gov.za and Social Worker, Jacobé Botha on 011 812 8330 or jacobie.botha@gauteng.gov.za.  Physical address: Hospital Road, New State Areas, Springs, Johannesburg, Gauteng.  Postal Address: Private Bag X50, Springs, 1559, South Africa.  Needs: Clothes for premature & new born babies, blankets, toys and toiletries.  General: Clothes, blankets and toiletries for children to 12 years old.

Free State Psychiatric Complex, Bloemfontein.  Contact person is Doreen Brits at doreenbrits@worldonline.co.za.  Needs: clothes for all ages, knee rugs, toys, toiletries, etc.

Heidelberg Hospital.  Contact person is Eleanor van Rooyen at eleanoryaella@gmail.com.

Ikhaya Lethu, Colenso - Contact person in Ladysmith KZN: Gail Rozendaal, Tel +27 36 638 4087; Fax +27 36 638 4103; Email Gail.Rozendaal@za.apollotyres.com.  http://www.mccmidlands.co.za/documents/Ikhaya-Lethu.pdf

Itshelejuba Hospital - Address for donation: P/Bag X0047, Pongola 3170, South Africa (N2 north, about 30 km past Pongola).  Name and telephone number of staff liaison person:  Fikile Simelane acting PRO; Tel.034 413 2542/3/4 or 0762217743; Cell 082 357 5774 (in the event of landline service failure; Fax +27 (0) 34 413 2545; Email fikile.simelane@kznhealth.gov.za.  Web: http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/itshelejubahospital.htm
Needs: normally monthly we have about 30 premature babies being born in this institution.  General: We would like to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to your organisation for the great work that you are doing for the community

King Edward VIII Hospital - Address for donations: Postal: Private Bag X02, Congella 4013, South Africa.  Street: Corner Rick Turner and Sydney Road, CONGELLA 4013. Name of staff liaison person: Nontobeko Ndlela. Telephone number of staff liaison person: 031 360 3021. Fax: 031 206 1457. Email: Nontobeko.ndlela@kznhealth.gov.za. Web: http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/kingedwardhospital.htm.  Needs: New-borns and toddlers clothing, blankets, etc.

Kuvela Othandweni (From The Heart!) - Please send donations to Morag van Deventer, P.O. BOX 53 Baynesfield 3770, South Africa.  Email morag@bundunet.com. 

Lower Umfolozi District War Memorial Hospital (LUDWMH) - Address for donations: 29 Union Street, Private Bag x 20005, Empangeni, 3880, South Africa.  Name and telephone number of staff liaison person: Mrs NH Xaba, Tel: 035 907 7156; Email nompilo.mvubu@kznhealth.gov.za.  Fax:  035 – 792 2596 .  Web: http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/luwmhospital.htm.  Needs: Sanitary pads for moms, receiving blankets, socks, vests, hats, baby rompers, jersey for the new born.  General:  This is a maternity hospital and we have all sizes and types of new-borns including pre-mature babies. 

Manguzi Hospital, Private Bag X301, Kwa-Ngwanase 3973, South Africa.  Contact person: T.O. Manzini Maternity Operational Manager; S.A. Mathenjwa Hospital PRO; T.J. Manzini Supply Chain Manager.  Fax: 035-5920158.  Tel:035-5920150/1 Ext 222.  Email: sipho.vumase@kznhealth.gov.za
Web: http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/manguzihospital.htm.  Needs: preemie booties; hats assorted; vests assorted; jerseys; baby nappies; small bags of toiletries; soft toys; baby blankets; baby baths; baby bedpan; rompers; bibs; feeding cups; baby carrier bags.

Montebello Hospital - Address for donations: PRIVATE BAG X 506, Dalton, 3236, South Africa (R 614 Noordsberg Road).  Name and telephone number of staff liaison person: Miss Zama Biyela - Public Relations Officer – 079 618 7142; Tel: 033 506 7100; Fax: 032 506 0102; Cell: 079 618 7142; E-mail: sitholinhlanhla.biyela@kznhealth.gov.za; Web: http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/montebellohospital.htm.  Needs: Term + preterm baby clothes, hats, booties and baby blankets

Môrester - Contact person in Ladysmith KZN: Judy Maccarone, telephone 073 250 3672.  http://www.morester.org/

Mosvold hospital - Address for donations: private bag x2211, Ingwavuma, 3968, South Africa.  Name of staff liaison person: Mrs T.J. Dlamini.  Telephone: 035 5910122; cell no 0825608267.  Fax: 035 5910148.  Email: thulisiwe.dlamini@kznhealth.gov.za.  Web: http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/mosvoldhospital.htm
Needs: We need anything; we are in a rural community, poverty stricken with a high rate of unemployment. Whatever donation will be very much appreciated.

Mowbray Maternity Hospital - Address for donations: Postal: Private Bag X 7, Mowbray 7700, South Africa.  Street: 12 Hornsey Road, Mowbray 7700.  Name of staff liaison person: Carol Adams.  Telephone number of staff liaison person: 021 659 4901.  Email: Carol.Adams@westerncape.gov.za
Needs: new born caps, booties, clothes, jerseys, vests, blankets, baby toiletries etc.  Moms: toiletries (soap, facecloth, roll on, spray), slippers, clothes etc.  We accept new and good quality used items.  Baby Friendly Hospital therefore no treats, bottles or milk formula products!!!

MURCHISON HOSPITAL - Contact Person: Wendy Davies-walker at wendyannwalker@gmail.com, Bowlers 4 Babies group.  Please contact Wendy for further information.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bowlers-4-Babies/1448690508762410

Newcastle Provincial Hospital (There are problems with postal deliveries; I recommend hand deliveries only, please.)  Address for donations:  4 Hospital Street, Newcastle, 2940.  Name of staff liaison person: Sister Marlene Lubbe (Operational Manager-Nicu).  Telephone: 0343280003.  Fax: 03431 23891.  Email: Nomkhosi.Buthelezi@kznhealth.gov.za (this email address will change, Mrs Buthelezi is retiring).  Web: http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/newcastlehospital.htm.  Needs: very low birth weight hats and booties

Port Shepstone Hospital - Address for donation: P/Bag x5706, Port Shepstone 4240, South Africa. Cnr of Connor and Bazley Street, Port Shepstone.  Name and telephone number of staff liaison person: Phumza Morai (PRO) Tel 039 688 6276; fax 039 682 6678; cell 083 3323 722.  Email: phumza.morai@kznhealth.gov.za.  Web: http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/portshepstonehospital.htm.  Needs: Vests, jerseys, booties, hats; General: Receiving blankets will be appreciated.  Contact person at Margate: Wendy Walker at wendyannwalker@gmail.com

Precious Babies Knitters, Garsfontein, Pretoria:  Based in Garsfontein in Pretoria, restricted to Mamelodi and the Greater Pretoria area.  Contact Duncan Bain at littledunc@mweb.co.za.

Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital - Address for donations: c/o FUEL AND OUDTSHOORN STREETS, CORONATIONVILLE, South Africa.  Name of staff liaison person: MRS SUSAN JORDAAN – CEO.  Telephone: 011-470-9034 (CELL 082-7721119).  Fax: 011-673-5658.  Email: sjordaan@icon.co.za.  Web: Gauteng Health – the hospital does not have a web site.  Needs: BABY CLOTHES AND BLANKETS

R. K. KHAN HOSPITAL - Address for donations: 336 R K KHAN CIRCLE, CROFTDENE, CHATSWORTH, 4092, South Africa.  Name of staff liaison person: MRS KAMLA CHETTY, Telephone: 031/4596126 OR 6125, Fax: 031-4011247, Email: kamla.chetty@kznhealth.gov.za, Web: http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/rkkhanhospital.htm.  Needs: an average of +/- 20 per month premature babies. Our other deliveries are around 600 per month.

Siyathemba - Needs: Blankets, clothes and soft toys for new born babies.  General: In a nut shell, we are helping to support young women with basic needs who would have otherwise aborted their pregnancy as a result of being overwhelmed by the seemingly impossible task to care for their unborn child. These needs are diverse, and we try here and there to help as we feel led. One thing we do for all is try to give each new baby a generous hamper of baby clothes to start him/her off. I've been collecting as much as I can, but generally run short as each little baby makes quite a dent in a bunch of things that has taken months to collect. If you are able to help in any way or would like any more information, please don't hesitate to contact me! :)
Contact person in Ingwavuma:  Mrs T.J. Dlamini, c/o Mosvold hospital, Private bag x2211, Ingwavuma, 3968, South Africa.  Telephone: 035 5910122; cell no 0825608267.  Fax:035 5910148.  Email: thulisiwe.dlamini@kznhealth.gov.za.  Contact person in Ladysmith KZN: Gail Rozendaal, Tel +27 36 638 4087; Fax +27 36 638 4103; Email Gail.Rozendaal@za.apollotyres.com.

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP:  Ladysmith Provincial Hospital - Address for donations: The Ruth Mailbag Group, C/o Elna Sewing and Knitting Centre, 74 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370, South Africa.  Needs: preterm and full term baby clothes, blankets, nappies, soft toys and toiletries.  General: toiletries, facecloths and bed socks for the boarder moms.  Fax: 086 516 4618.  Email: joy.coetzee@gmail.com.  Blog: http://theruthmailbaggroup.blogspot.com.

CONTACT DETAILS OF PUBLIC HOSPITALS IN SOUTH AFRICA
If you still have not found a hospital nearby, please, browse through the following list, I’m sure you will find a government hospital near your work, your home or your favourite shopping centre to support: http://www.doh.gov.za/show.php?id=2890
Eastern Cape - http://www.info.gov.za/aboutgovt/contacts/prov/ecape.htm
Gauteng Province - http://www.health.gpg.gov.za/Institutions/Pages/Hospitals.aspx
Johannesburg - http://www.joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&id=43&Itemid=75
KZN - http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/hospitals1.htm; http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/hospitals.htm
Port Elizabeth - http://www.nelsonmandelabay.gov.za/Content.aspx?objID=103

Western Cape - http://www.westerncape.gov.za/eng/directories/facilities/6423

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Address Label Change

ADDRESS LABEL CHANGE - the new message needs to read: BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY - NO COMMERCIAL VALUE. The label needs to be added to the front of the parcel. Please write a value of '0' or '1' at the most on the customs ticket.
Postal Instructions - Customs Duty - Very Important: We would ask you to take special notice of these instructions to avoid unnecessary duty being paid on your parcels as they arrive in South Africa.
Please mark clearly: BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY - NO COMMERCIAL VALUE.
Please do not register your letters, parcels, packages or boxes.
Please do not give a monetary value on your parcels (or only the minimum amount as instructed by your post office).
Please do use your good old post office unless you do not have one; it has come to our attention that the customs paid to couriers is higher than that paid at the post office.
We have to pay minimal duty on most large parcels arriving. However even just a small monetary value on a parcel attracts far higher duties. Letters, parcels, packages and boxes continue to arrive safely in volumes without any registration or monetary values appended to them.
MOISTURE FREE: Wrap your crocheted, knitted and sewn items in a plastic bag, bubble wrap or buy postal bags with an inner plastic coating to keep them moisture proof. Tape your parcels well.
POSTAL ADDRESS: The Ruth Mailbag Group, BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY - NO COMMERCIAL VALUE, C/o Foto First, 10 Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370, South Africa.  OR
The Ruth Mailbag Group, BONA FIDE GIFT FOR CHARITY - NO COMMERCIAL VALUE, C/o Elna Knitting and Sewing Centre, 74 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Please add a note with your email address so that I may acknowledge your parcel.

Thank you for your support!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Newsletter 7 of 2015

NEWSLETTER 7 OF 2015

I wanted to thank you but then I realized I don’t know where to begin. So, I just wanted to say that there are so many things I couldn’t have done without you.  Thank you!  Please visit our Facebook page to see acknowledgements for donations and photos of your beautiful work.  I enjoy sharing photos and reports with you.  Thank you for sending photos of your work, you will find these photos on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ruth-Mailbag-Group/153666104700531.

Gifting

Sunday, 28 June 2015:  Gifted to 24 newborn and 18 preemie babies, 37 mommies, 5 sets of twins.  Moms happy with their packs and especially pleased with the bed socks they personally received today.  Thank you to the staff for their friendly help.  Thank you to all whom in anyway contributes to our packs, your generosity and kindness goes a long way to making a difference for these moms and their babies.  Once again, thank you!

Sunday, 05 July 2015:  Gifted to 22 newborn and 19 preemie babies, 39 mommies, 2 sets of twins.  Moms happy with their packs and especially pleased with the scarves they personally received today.  Thank you to the staff for their friendly help.  Thank you to all whom in anyway contributes to our packs, your generosity and kindness goes a long way to making a difference for these moms and their babies.  Once again, thank you!

Gifted to Walton Street Clinic via Gil Richmond, 15 baby packs and via Doreen Brits beanies, scarves and jerseys for kiddies, so that 30 kiddies could be gifted on Mandela Day.  Thank you, for contributing to these gifts, rest assured that the moms, babies and kiddies were delighted with their presents on Mandela Day.  Once again, thank you!  Photos posted by Gil on our facebook page and a share from NKZN News, thank you, Claudine, for your support!

Sunday, 19 July 2015:  Nelson Mandela Day gifting to 4 newborn and 19 preemie babies (very small group of moms today).  Moms happy with their packs; one preemie mom jumped out of her bed and gave me the biggest hug you could imagine when I gave her the little set for her baby, must admit that I was a little surprised but she certainly made my day.  Thank you to the staff for their friendly help.  I was able to leave several hand puppets for Dr Beharie to pass on to the occupational therapists.  Thank you to all whom in anyway contributes to our packs, your generosity and kindness goes a long way to making a difference for these moms and their babies.  Once again, thank you!

Postal Instructions - Customs Duty - Very Important: We would ask you to take special notice of these instructions to avoid unnecessary duty being paid on your parcels as they arrive in South Africa.
Please mark clearly: No Commercial Value - For Charity Only.
Please do not register your letters, parcels, packages or boxes.
Please do not give a monetary value on your parcels (or only the minimum amount as instructed by your post office).
Please do use your good old post office unless you do not have one; it has come to our attention that the customs paid to couriers is higher than that paid at the post office.
We have to pay minimal duty on most large parcels arriving. However even just a small monetary value on a parcel attracts far higher duties. Letters, parcels, packages and boxes continue to arrive safely in volumes without any registration or monetary values appended to them.
MOISTURE FREE: Wrap your crocheted, knitted and sewn items in a plastic bag, bubble wrap or buy postal bags with an inner plastic coating to keep them moisture proof. Tape your parcels well.
POSTAL ADDRESS: The Ruth Mailbag Group, No Commercial Value – For Charity Only, C/o Foto First, 10 Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370, South Africa.  OR
The Ruth Mailbag Group, No Commercial Value - For Charity Only, C/o Elna Knitting and Sewing Centre, 74 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Please add a note with your email address so that I may acknowledge your parcel.
Thank you for your support!

Meeting - Thank you for your awesome support!  It was good to see you.  Those ladies, who were not present, are assured that they were missed and we trust that you will be in a position to attend the next meeting.  I think our winter weather and the Durban July may have kept many at home.
Judy was asked to liaise with Tina Lombard at Môrester Children’s Home about the combi dropping off baby items at Huis Meah when they travel through to Newcastle from time to time with the High School children.  Judy will report back at the next meeting.
Gifting is going well at the moment and you would never say that just a few months ago we had a crippling postal strike that nearly halted operations at our end totally.  Bless you all and thank you for your generosity and kindness in making these baby packs possible, you have no idea what a difference your items make in the lives of these moms and their babies, each and every item no matter how small is much appreciated.
Reminder!  The Ruth Mailbag Group meetings are held on the 1st Saturday of the month at 2 o’clock at the Juana Maria Home.  Thank you, Juana Maria Home, for your hospitality.
Kindly remember that the project through July for August is in aid of National Women’s Day so the emphasis will be on Boarder Moms and their babies.
Please remember that our collection points are at Foto First and Elna Sewing and Knitting Centre.
In Gail’s absence there was nothing to report on Ikhaya Lethu at Colenso and Siyathemba at Durban.
Gil Richmond reported that she had been in contact with Walton Street Clinic and would like to gift the babies and children on Mandela Day, she requires 15 items for tiny babies and 30 for bigger children, Joy will see what she can put together for the babies and Doreen will collect and or knit 30 beanies for the bigger kiddies and this will be channelled to Gil to deliver before Mandela Day as Joy strongly suspects that the clinic will be closed as it is a Saturday.
Joy did a little refresher course for members old and new.
The show and tell as always was very exciting, encouraging, and enjoyable; we always learn from each other, and never cease to be amazed at the beautiful, original work we all produce for our babies.
The meeting closed with a message of thanks and wishes for a blessed month for each of us, our mommies and their babies, until we meet again, same time, same place, next month.

Reminder!  The Ruth Mailbag Group Meetings, 1st Saturday of the month, February through November, 14h00 – 16h00, Juana Maria Home, Francis Road, Ladysmith, KZN.  Thank you, Juana Maria, for your hospitality!  Bring your charity knitting, crocheting, & sewing; any yarn and or patterns to swap, etc.  January - in recess!  December – end of year get together!  See you there!!!

Dates To Remember In 2015 / 16 - We will concentrate on items for the babies (premature and new born).  Please donate items such as baby clothing, new or gently used and handcrafted items, etc.  These “challenges” are just for fun, to give you some ideas in case you can’t think of anything to make.  They are NOT mandatory and not intended to be prescriptive.  These are projects you can choose to support if you wish!  Let’s warm and comfort the babies!

If you would like to make changes to this programme please send me your suggestions to joy.coetzee@gmail.com.  Thank you.

August for 12 September – International Crochet Day
September for November – Click for Babies / Purple hat project (Awareness of Shaken baby syndrome and Period of Purple Crying) - hats for new born babies
October for 17 November – World Prematurity Day
November for 25 December – Christmas Day
December for 1 January – New Year’s Day
January for 14 February – Valentine’s Day
February for 17 March – St Patrick’s Day
March for 5 April – Easter Sunday
April for 15 May – International Kangaroo Care Day (Emphasis on premature and very small babies)
May for 13 June – World Wide Knit in Public Day – bootees for new born babies
June for 18 July – Nelson Mandela Day – 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day (67 blankets for our babies!)
July for 9 August – National Women’s Day (Emphasis on Boarder Moms and their babies)

Please Address All Your Post To:
The Ruth Mailbag Group, “No Commercial Value - For Charity Only”, C/o Foto First, 10 Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370, RSA,
OR
The Ruth Mailbag Group, “No Commercial Value - For Charity Only”, C/o Elna Sewing and Knitting Centre, 74 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370, RSA.
(PLEASE USE YOUR GOOD OLD POST OFFICE!!!) And please follow our postal instructions carefully.
Thank you in advance for your support!

Please Remember We Have Various Outreaches That We Support (by giving them the items we cannot use for the babies) –

Harrismith Crèche at Harrismith and the Psychiatric Hospital at Bloemfontein – Doreen Brits doreenbrits@worldonline.co.za
Ikhaya Lethu at Colenso and Siyathemba at Durban – Gail Rozendaal gail.rozendaal@gmail.com
Môrester Children’s Home – Judy Maccarone is your contact person (telephone number on request)
Walton Street Clinic and The Child Welfare (Urmila Riga) – Gil Richmond richmort@telkomsa.net

Groups That Share Our Interest In Helping Babies And Their Mommies

Beanies And Blankets For Babies - We knit, crochet, sew and donate items to babies and moms in King Dinuzulu and Murchison Hospitals, KZN, larger sizes go to Creighton, southern Drakensberg

Bowlers 4 Babies – We aim to make up gift packs to give to the new mothers at the local Provincial hospitals.  Inspired by The Ruth Mailbag Group and Joy Coetzee

Amor Group works for the babies born at Steve Biko in Pretoria

Ten Thousand Blocks For Amor works for the Amor Group

Items We Can Use for Our New Born and Preemie Babies (1.6 Kg and Heavier): These items may be handmade (knit, crochet, loom or sew), bought (new and or good quality second hand i.e. gently used)

Baby Blanket (Fleece): not smaller than 30 inch squares
Baby Gowns / Nighties
Baby Socks / Booties
Baby Sweater / Jacket: That buttons down the front.
Baby Wash Cloths / Sponges
Barrier Cream / Vaseline
Diaper / Nappy Pins
Diapers / Nappies: cloth, towelling or disposable for new-born
Fleece wear or snowsuits: optional extra.
Hats: a soft, warm hat that covers the ears.
Leggings or pull-on pants: stretchy waistbands that fit easily over baby's diaper / nappy and belly.
One-piece outfits: appropriate for sleeping and playing.
Onesies (undershirts / vests)
Pyjamas or sleepers: Avoid sleepwear that has complicated snaps or requires lots of effort to get on or off!
Receiving Baby Blanket: not smaller than 30 inch squares
Shirts: T-shirts and turtlenecks with plenty of room in the neck, or snaps at the neck, so they slip easily over child's head or one-piece styles that snap at the crotch.
Soap (baby)
Wearable blankets / sleeping bags: These fleece or cotton sacks zip over baby's sleepwear to keep them warm at night. They replace traditional blankets.

Items We Can Use For Our Moms:

Toothbrush
Toothpaste / Mini Toothpaste
Hand Towels
Wash Cloths / face cloths / sponge
Soap / Mini Soap

Happy charity crafting!!!
Joy Coetzee – Founder
The Ruth Mailbag Group

Forums

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Reminder!

Reminder!
Ruth Mailbag Group meeting tomorrow (Saturday) at 14h00 at the Juana Maria Home.
See you there!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Newsletter 6 of 2015

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP - NEWSLETTER 6 OF 2015

Greetings to everyone who participates in the Ruth Mailbag Group. Thank you for all that you do to warm and comfort others.
FYI: I begin each newsletter shortly after sending out the previous issue.  I’ve learned NOT to wait until the last minute to work on newsletters. As materials arrive in e-mail and mail, I try to insert them into the next issue. This avoids forgetting something or overlooking it in a rush to meet a deadline.
Thank you for sending photos and notes. I enjoy reading your letters and hearing about all that you and/or your group donate to hospitals.
With very best wishes to everyone reading this newsletter.

THANK YOU – Please visit our facebook page to see acknowledgements for donations and photos of your beautiful work.  I enjoy sharing photos and reports with you.  Thank you for sending photos of your work, you will find these photos on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ruth-Mailbag-Group/153666104700531.

Tina Lombard - PRO/Skakelbeampte, Môrester Child and Youth Centre wrote: Thanks a million for the jerseys, and other things that you send us with Judy.  We appreciate your help, with winter on our doorstep we can do with all the warm things that we can possible get!  Thanks again.  Kind regards, Tina.

GIFTING

Sunday, 14 June 2015: Gifted to 18 newborn and 13 preemie babies.  Moms happy with their packs and especially pleased with the knitted and crochet blankets they received today.  Thank you to the staff for their friendly help.  Thank you to Mariette and Frances for helping me carry and distribute the packs.  Thank you to all whom in anyway contributes to our packs, your generosity and kindness goes a long way to making a difference for these moms and their babies.  Once again, thank you!

Sunday, 21 June 2015:  New security!  Always a nightmare when that happens.  However, I succeeded in talking my way in to the moms and gifted 32 babies.  Moms happy with their packs and especially pleased with the receiving blankets they also received today.  Thank you to the staff for their friendly help.  Thank you to each and every person who in anyway contributes to our packs, your generosity and kindness goes a long way to making a difference for these moms and their babies.  Once again, thank you!

REMINDER!  THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP MEETINGS, 1st Saturday of the month, February through November, 14h00 – 16h00, Juana Maria Home, Francis Road, Ladysmith, KZN.  Thank you, Juana Maria, for your hospitality!  Bring your charity knitting, crocheting, & sewing; any yarn and or patterns to swap, etc.  January - in recess!  December – end of year get together!  See you there!!!

MEETING – Thank you for your overwhelming support!  It was awesome to see you.  Those ladies who were not present, be assured that you were sorely missed and we trust that you will be in a position to attend the next meeting.  I think our winter weather and the tennis may have kept many at home.
Judy Maccarone reported back on her delivery of jerseys to Môrester children’s home.
The show and tell as always was very exciting, encouraging, and enjoyable; we always learn from each other.
New member Sue showed how she is watching the sales to find amazing bargains for the babies and the knitting she is doing for preemie babies.
The WWKIP day was discussed and members asked to come along on the 13th June at 2pm and to bring a friend and a plate of eats.  Photos at https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=889576077776193&id=153666104700531
Please remember that the next meeting will be held on the first Saturday in July, the 4th, as usual.

DATES TO REMEMBER IN 2015 / 16 - We will concentrate on items for the babies (premature and new born).  Please donate items such as baby clothing, new or gently used and handcrafted items, etc.  These “challenges” are just for fun, to give you some ideas in case you can’t think of anything to make.  They are NOT mandatory and not intended to be prescriptive.  These are projects you can choose to support if you wish!  Let’s warm and comfort the babies!

If you would like to make changes to this programme please send me your suggestions to joy.coetzee@gmail.com.  Thank you.

July for 9 August – National Women’s Day (Emphasis on Boarder Moms and their babies)
August for 12 September – International Crochet Day
September for November – Click for Babies / Purple hat project (Awareness of Shaken baby syndrome and Period of Purple Crying) - hats for new born babies
October for 17 November – World Prematurity Day
November for 25 December – Christmas Day
December for 1 January – New Year’s Day
January for 14 February – Valentine’s Day
February for 17 March – St Patrick’s Day
March for 5 April – Easter Sunday
April for 15 May – International Kangaroo Care Day (Emphasis on premature and very small babies)
May for 13 June – World Wide Knit in Public Day – bootees for new born babies
June for 18 July – Nelson Mandela Day – 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day (67 blankets for our babies!)

PLEASE ADDRESS ALL YOUR POST TO:

The Ruth Mailbag Group, “No Commercial Value - For Charity Only”, C/o Foto First, 10 Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370, RSA,

OR

The Ruth Mailbag Group, “No Commercial Value - For Charity Only”, C/o Elna Sewing and Knitting Centre, 74 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370, RSA.

(PLEASE USE YOUR GOOD OLD POST OFFICE!!!) And please follow our postal instructions carefully.
Thank you in advance for your support!

Please remember we have various outreaches that we support (by giving them the items we cannot use for the babies) –

Harrismith Crèche at Harrismith and the Psychiatric Hospital at Bloemfontein – Doreen Brits doreenbrits@worldonline.co.za

Ikhaya Lethu at Colenso and Siyathemba at Durban – Gail Rozendaal gail.rozendaal@gmail.com

Môrester Children’s Home – Judy Maccarone is your contact person (telephone number on request)

Walton Street Clinic and The Child Welfare (Urmila Riga) – Gil Richmond richmort@telkomsa.net

GROUPS THAT SHARE OUR INTEREST IN HELPING BABIES AND THEIR MOMMIES –

BEANIES AND BLANKETS FOR BABIES - We knit, crochet, sew and donate items to babies and moms in King Dinuzulu and Murchison Hospitals, KZN, larger sizes go to Creighton, southern Drakensberg

BOWLERS 4 BABIES – We aim to make up gift packs to give to the new mothers at the local Provincial hospitals.  Inspired by The Ruth Mailbag Group and Joy Coetzee

AMOR GROUP works for the babies born at Steve Biko in Pretoria

TEN THOUSAND BLOCKS FOR AMOR works for the Amor Group

Sadly, the Kalafong group has closed.

QUICK REFRESHER COURSE –

All gifts are given free of any charge and that is why we have to solicit donations to support our cause.  Please help us if at all possible.

BLANKETS – Not smaller than 30 x 30 inches (+ - 76cm square) size blankets, that way they can be taken home for new-borns.

COLOURS – This is Africa and we all enjoy colour, from the pastels through the whole spectrum to the brightest.

FINISHING ITEMS - Please finish your items before sending. It just takes a minute to go through your items to make sure they are done. After all, you work so hard to make these beautiful items why not finish them, please. :-)

SIZES – we gift premature and new-born babies, from 1.6 kg to new-born babies.

SWEATERS / JACKETS / TOPS - Should fit from 1.6 kg to new-born as most hospitals like them for going home. The tiny sweaters are NOT used in the unit; they want the sweaters to put on the babies when leaving. 

PREEMIE HATS should be at least 10 inches in circumference. Hat height should be 4 inches.  Smaller babies are not dressed.  Also please use the softest yarn possible for the preemie hats as their skin is very sensitive.

NEWBORN HATS: Need to be at least 14 inches in circumference.  Hat height should be 5 to 6 inches.

Make sure the booties you make are easy for the nurses to get on the babies feet.

FREE SAMPLES / TRAVEL SIZE TOILETRIES THAT YOU RECEIVE AT HOTELS, ETC. - Each week our group gifts up to 50 new-born and premature babies at the local Government hospital.  In these baby packs we place basic items for the baby’s wellbeing and a little something for the mom, too, as the vast majority of the mothers who give birth to their babies at the Government hospital are destitute, receiving something personal, just for them, is awesome!  The moms are most appreciative of the assistance we give them. 

PLEASE WASH SECOND HAND ITEMS - After all, we owe these mothers our love and respect; why not wash the items you are gifting, please. :-)

PLEASE DO NOT BLOCK YOUR KNITTED / CROCHETED ITEMS, especially if they are made of synthetics, carefully follow instructions on ball band – usually wet block by spraying; do not “press / steam” it makes your garments “soft”, we need items that are rugged and able to stand up to all washing and wearing methods.

Happy charity crafting!!!
Joy Coetzee – Founder
The Ruth Mailbag Group

FORUMS –