The Ruth Mailbag Group,
No Commercial Value - For Charity Only,
C/o P C Galaxy, 23b Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370, Kwa Zulu Natal,
NEWSLETTER 8 OF 2014
You are deeply appreciated for all that you do for OUR babies. Thank you!
THANK YOU – Ann Hedley, Anonymous UK, Barbara UK and family, Carol Bower and friends, England, Doreen Brits, Estelle Jansen van Rensburg, Witbank, Frances Labuschagne, Gail Rozendaal, Gwen Draffan, England, Janet Mill, Judy Maccarone, Karin Strauss, Kay Thorne, Lee Ann don-Wauchope, Linda Mitchell, Bunty MacGregor and Sharen McLaren, UK, Mariaan Botha, Renate Dunham, Rosemary Earp Jones, Shirley Brownlee, Norway and Sylvia de Lange.
Sunday, 03 August 2014 - Gifted 38 babies, moms pleased with their packs and the staff very pleasant and helpful. We enjoyed our half an hour with the moms, babies and staff. Thank you, Frances, Sue, Marietta and Mary Ann, for helping me carry everything, would not have been able to do it without you; your support is much appreciated. To all those wonderful people who contribute to the baby packs, bless you and thank you for your help.
Sunday, 10 August 2014 – Gifted 24 mommies, who were very pleased with their “Women’s Day” packs. The staff in KMC, were very helpful and pleasant and I had a happy visit. KMC staff requested premature baby hats and booties for their small patients, so, I dashed home and grabbed 36 sets and took the sets back to Louisa who was on duty in KMC today, and these sets will be kept as ward stock and not for distribution. The boarder/lodger moms had asked me please to give the “baby with no mommy” a pack, too. I asked Louisa in KMC about this baby and she told me that she is a little premature baby girl waiting to be adopted, so, while I was collecting the premature hats and bootees sets, I picked up assorted premature items for this precious little baby girl and left it with Louisa for her. To all those wonderful people who contributed to the mommy packs and the various baby items, bless you and thank you for your help and support.
Sunday, 17 August 2014 - Gifted 12 newborn babies and 22 premature babies, moms pleased with their packs and the staff very pleasant and helpful. I enjoyed my half an hour with the moms, babies and staff. There was a new security person on the gate today and I had to wait for him to verify that I had permission to be visiting the moms, he was very pleasant about the whole thing and called me “Oumie”, bless his heart, it must be all the “blonde” hair that did it. To all those wonderful people who contribute to the baby packs, bless you and thank you for your help which is always much appreciated.
PHOTOS - Please find new pictures of items knitted / crocheted by dedicated Ruth Mailbag volunteers on facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ruth-Mailbag-Group/153666104700531 …
DATES TO REMEMBER IN 2014 / 15 - Please plan your projects around the following days. We shall continue to concentrate on items for the babies (premature and newborn). Donate items such as baby clothing, new or gently used and handcrafted baby items, supplies for crocheting and knitting, like skeins of yarn, etc.
September for November – Click for Babies / Purple hat project (Awareness of Shaken baby syndrome and Period of Purple Crying) http://www.clickforbabies.org/. Patterns at http://www.clickforbabies.org/stitchers-club/
October for 17 November – World Prematurity DayNovember 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 20 April – Easter Sunday
April for 15 May – International Kangaroo Care Day
May for 21 June – World Wide Knit in Public Day – Comfort scarves for Victory Haven & other shelters
June for 18 July – Nelson Mandela Day
July for 9 August – National Women’s Day (Emphasis on Boarder Moms and their babies)
August for 12 September – International Crochet Day
Please address all your post to: The Ruth Mailbag Group, “No Commercial Value - For Charity Only”, C/o P C Galaxy, 23b Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370, RSA, (PLEASE USE YOUR GOOD OLD POST OFFICE!!!) Thank you in advance for your support!
ATTACHING MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT, if you have anything you would like to share with the members, please send it to me and if it is possible I will attach it to the next newsletter. Enjoy the articles and information in this newsletter. Thank you for using your time and talents to help the babies.
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.
Wrap your crocheted, knitted and sewn items in a plastic bag, bubble wrap or by postal bags with an inner plastic coating to keep them moisture proof. Tape your parcels well.
Address all your post to: The Ruth Mailbag Group, No Commercial Value - For Charity Only, C/o P C Galaxy, 23b Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370, South Africa.
Please add a note with your email address so that I may acknowledge your parcel.
Thank you for your support!
HINTS AND TIPS ON KNITTING FOR PREMATURE BABY CHARITIES.
WHAT SIZE DO I KNIT?
Don't put too much emphasis on trying to perfect the size of a preemie garment. There is a great variation between premature baby sizes that an item of any size should be suitable for at least one baby. As a general guide premature babies head circumference is approximately the same as their chest circumference. The average premature baby's chest measurements are 8"-14". However clothes of all sizes are required for preemies, so no matter how big or small your item is it will most likely fit at least one baby. The babies are not dressed while they are in the unit so we attempt to make items that will fit the babies when they go home at 1.6kg.
WHICH COLOURS DO I CHOOSE?
Pastel colours are the most popular but in Africa they appreciate colour and the brighter the colours the better they like them. Apart from the obvious baby pinks and blues other colours which may be used are: Lemon, Cream, White, Mint green, Peach, Lilac and Aqua. When knitting burial garments the advice suggests its best to use colours such as white or cream.
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH YARN TO USE?
Premature babies have very delicate skin and can often be allergic to wool; therefore it is best to avoid garments made with a wool mix. Acrylic yarn is more suitable when knitting for preemies. Ideal yarn to use for preemie knits is baby double knit or 4ply yarn. Most preemie patterns will use these.
DO I NEED SPECIAL FASTENINGS?
Plain flat half-inch buttons are best to use for fastening. Avoid nylon and metal fastenings, as they get very hot under the incubator heaters. Do not use Velcro as a fastening, it is very scratchy on the hook side and also damages knitted garments when they are laundered. Ease of dressing is vital for preemies and as a general rule it is best not to use ribbon as a fastening as ribbon can often be fussy to tie on a garment so small.
WHAT DO I CHOOSE TO KNIT?
These are the most frequently used preemie clothing. V-Necks or round necks are the best to knit for 'give' and ease of dressing. Cuffs and shoulders should have plenty of 'give' to help make dressing easy. Stretchy knits such as garter stitch work best as they provide the necessary 'give'.
Premature baby knitting charities usually appreciate blankets. Avoid lacy patterns or blankets with large holes in can be dangerous for little fingers. (Reminder! 30 inches x 30 inches is perfect for both premature and newborn babies.)
Keep the designs simple and preferably without any ties and fastenings.
Garter stitch is the best to use for booties as it is stretchy which makes it easier to put the booties on. It is better to knit shaping at the ankle to provide grip rather than use tie or cords.
FREE SAMPLES/TRAVEL SIZE TOILETRIES - Each week our group gifts up to 40 newborn and premature babies at the state hospital. In these baby packs we place basic items for the baby’s well being e.g. creams, lotions, clothing, blankets and a little something for the mom, too, as the vast majority of the mothers who give birth to their babies at the state hospital are destitute these small personal gifts are a treasure. The moms are most appreciative of the assistance we give them. 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.
BASIC NEEDS - Toothbrushes; Toothpaste; Soap – Baby & Mom; Vaseline / Barrier Cream; Face cloths / sponges – Baby & Mom; Towels – Hand & BabyReceiving Blankets; Baby Blankets; Diaper Pins; Cloth Diapers; Gowns / Sleepers / Babygros; Infant Socks / Bootees / Leggings / Hats; Sweaters / Jackets. (Preferable sizes Premature / Tiny baby / Newborn / 0 to 3 months / 1 -3 months). (New / very good quality second hand / handmade).
http://danettesangels.tripod.com/patterns/boxshellafghan.html (Reminder! 30 inches x 30 inches)
MEETING - Thank you, to all the ladies, who attended the meeting, held on Saturday, 2 August 2014, it was wonderful to see you all looking so well. The show and tell was thoroughly enjoyed and everybody always so appreciative of each other’s talents, always encouraging and supportive. We had some yarn to share and I think most hands will be busy through this new month for the babies. Those who were absent or tendered apologies were sorely missed and we do hope that you will be able to join us next month!!! Thank you, Di and the Juana Maria Home for the tea and coffee, much enjoyed after our business was completed. Once again, thank you, all for your talents and the time you spend with us each month, we do so enjoy your company. Next meeting to be held on Saturday, 6 September 2014 at 2 pm.
NEW LISTING!!! Hospital needing help...
“We have between 950 – 1000 babies born per month. Many of them are new born and therefore I have asked for these items as we receive sufficient at the moment for our prems. We are a referral Hospital and many times moms arrive and their shoes were left at the MOU. I have filled in our details below. Kind Regards, Carol”Mrs Carol Adams, Quality Assurance Manager, Mowbray Maternity Hospital, Chief Directorate: General, Specialist and Emergency Services, Dept of Health, Western Cape Government
12 Hornsey Rd, Mowbray, 7700Tel: 021 659 4901, Fax: 021 685 2991
Name of hospital: Mowbray Maternity HospitalAddress for donations: Please mark all parcels boldly ‘FOR CHARITY – NO RETAIL VALUE’
Postal: Private Bag X 7, Mowbray 7700
Street: 12 Hornsey Road, Mowbray 7700
Name of staff liaison person: Carol Adams
Telephone number of staff liaison person: 021 659 4901
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!!!
Yours in charity crafting,Joy Coetzee – Founder
The Ruth Mailbag Group