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

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 –


Thursday, 11 June 2015

Reminder!

W W K I P day on the 13th June at 2 pm at the Juana Maria Home.
See you there!

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Reminder!

Reminder!
Ruth Mailbag meeting on Saturday, 6th June at 14h00 at the Juana Maria Home, Ladysmith.
Please remind your groups.
See you there!

Invitation : World Wide Knit in Public Day

Invitation : World Wide Knit in Public Day You are cordially invited to attend our World Wide Knit in Public Day. RSVP joy.coetzee@gmail.com so that we can organize seating, please


Monday, 25 May 2015

Newsletter 5 of 2015

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP – NEWSLETTER 5 OF 2015

On behalf of The Ruth Mailbag Group, I would like to thank you for your generous donation. Your contribution makes it possible for us to continue to gift the destitute moms and babies at our government hospital.

Since its inception 13 years ago, The Ruth Mailbag Group has worked to provide basic baby friendly items for the destitute moms and babies born at our government hospital. This year, we have continued to gift the moms most weekends and those baby packs that had grown from a single outfit to two or three outfits have again been reduced to a single outfit, this mostly due to the postal strike that really gave our stock a hard knock. This project is only possible because of thoughtful contributions from people like you.

We plan to continue our efforts for the moms and babies. As you know, the need does not go away. We hope for your continued support.  Once again, thank you for your generous donations.

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, photos of the babies & their moms.  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.

WORLD WIDE KNIT IN PUBLIC DAY – 13 June 2015 at 14h00 at the Juana Maria Home, Ladysmith.  Please bring wool and needles or a crochet hook to make bootees for new-born babies, and a plate of eats to share with the residents.  Look forward to seeing you there!
Please also support Beanies and Blankets for Babies group -

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!

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)
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

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!

GIFTING

Sunday, 03 May 2015 - Gifted 17 newborn and 25 premature babies. There were 2 babies with no mommies.  Thank you to the staff for their friendly help.  Thank you to all whom in anyway contributes to our packs each week, your generosity and talent goes a long way to making a difference for these moms and their babies.  Once again, thank you, for making this project possible, without you this would not happen.

Saturday, 09 May 2015 – Gifted large bag of cardigans and sweaters to https://www.facebook.com/moresterladysmith?fref=ts via Judy Maccarone.  Thank you to all whom in anyway contributes to our gifts for toddlers, kiddies and larger children, your support is much appreciated.  Once again, many thanks for your generosity.

Sunday, 10 May 2015 - Gifted 28 moms, 14 newborn and 25 premature babies. The 2 babies with no mommies have been discharged.  Today, Mother’s Day, the moms were each given a scarf for themselves and a baby set for the babies.  Thank you to the staff for their friendly help.  Thank you to Francis for helping me carry and distribute the packs.  Thank you to all whom in anyway contributes to our packs each week, your generosity and talent goes a long way to making a difference for these moms and their babies.  Once again, thank you, for making this Mother’s day project possible, without you this would not have happened.

Sunday, 17 May 2015 - Gifted 15 newborn and 25 premature babies.  Moms happy with their packs.  Thank you to the staff for their friendly help.  Thank you to all whom in anyway contributes to our packs each week, your generosity and talent goes a long way to making a difference for these moms and their babies.  Once again, thank you!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 – Gifted to Scottburgh Hospital via Mo MacAllister, several large bags of yarn for knitting and crocheting for the tiny patients.  Mo wrote in her SMS: I wish you could have seen Liz’s face when she saw the wool, by now the whole teddy are planning blankets, hurray!  God bless.

Sunday, 24 May 2015 – Gifted to 17 newborn and 22 preemie babies.  Moms happy with their packs and especially the fleecy blankets via Knit a Square.  Thank you to the staff for their friendly help.  Thank you to Mariette 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!

MEETING – Thank you for your overwhelming support!  It was awesome to see so many new faces.  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.
After lengthy discussion it was resolved to not support the Child Protection Unit by giving them teddy bears to be given free of any charge to traumatised little people anymore, this decision although very difficult was unanimous and with immediate effect until further notice.
Judy Maccarone collected a large bag of jerseys for Môrester children’s home and she has been asked to please emphasise that we would like to see these garments being worn by the children and not stashed away in store rooms.
The show and tell as always was very exciting, encouraging and enjoyable.
There was yarn a plenty and everybody had some to take home for projects this month.
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.
Please remember that the next meeting will be held on the first Saturday in June as usual.

We have enough preemie hats and bootees to last a while, so, this is your chance to try something else…

MY FAVOURITE BOOTEE PATTERN
Using 3 ply and 12 needles (UK Sizes), Size 2 US – large preemie
Using 4 ply and 11(UK sizes), Size 3 US needles - new-born
Cast on 29 sts
1st row - knit twice into the first stitch, knit 12, knit twice into the following 2 stitches, knit 12, knit twice into the next stitch, knit 1
2nd row and alternate rows - knit
3rd row - knit twice into the first stitch, knit 14, knit twice into the following 2 stitches, knit 14, knit twice into the next stitch, knit 1
5th row - knit twice into the first stitch, knit 16, knit twice into the following 2 stitches, knit 16, knit twice into the next stitch, knit 1
7th row - knit twice into the first stitch, knit 18, knit twice into the following 2 stitches, knit 18, knit twice into the next stitch, knit 1
9th row - knit 21 stitches, knit twice into the following 2 stitches, knit 22
11th row - knit 22 stitches, knit twice into the following 2 stitches, knit 23
You should have 49 stitches on the needle at this stage.
Next 5 rows knit
Now shape the top of the foot
1st row knit 28 stitches, knit 2 stitches together, turn
2nd row knit 8 stitches, knit 2 stitches together, turn
Repeat this 2nd row until there are 12 sts left unworked at either side of the centre 9 stitches, knit to the end of the row.
Knit 2 rows.
Ribbon row at the ankle - Knit 1, yarn forward, knit 2 stitches together, and repeat to the end of the row
Next row knit
Now knit 6 or more rows single rib or any other pattern for the leg.
Cast off loosely.
To make up - join back and under foot seam.  Thread twisted or crocheted cords or ribbon through the holes at the ankle.
Make another bootee to match the first.

REPEATING SOME BASIC INFORMATION FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE -

BLANKETS - Most hospitals prefer 30 x 30 inches 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 and so do the moms and babies.

FINISHING ITEMS - Please finish your items before sending. I have been receiving items with NO buttons, NO ties, etc. I may not have the same yarn you used to make the item, so, therefore I can't finish it. 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 of all sizes and weights, 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.  Make sure the booties you make are easy for the nurses to get on the babies feet. We don't want booties that make it difficult to get on. Make your items to fit 1.6 kg to new-born babies, please; sweaters any smaller will not be used!!!

Please when making items, unless a hospital asks for the smaller preemie hats we try and keep them around the 4-5 lb range.  PREEMIE hats should be at least 10 inches in circumference. 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.

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.  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.

PLEASE WASH SECOND HAND ITEMS - Please wash your second hand items before sending. I have been receiving items that have come directly off the baby into the mail. 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.

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

KALAFONG GROUP works for the babies born at Kalafong Hospital, Pretoria

ARTICLES YOU MAY FIND INTERESTING – MEMBERS IN THE “SPOTLIGHT”!

TWO ST ANNES NURSES HONOURED FOR CHARITY WORK – CONGRATULATIONS Morag!!!

DURBANITES SHARE THE WARMTH – Good luck Snoeks and friends!!!

A KAS ROAD TRIP – DAY 2!  Thank you KAS for your support!!!

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

FORUMS –
http://theruthmailbaggroup.blogspot.com/
http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-ruth-mailbag-group
https://twitter.com/RuthMailbag

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ruth-Mailbag-Group/153666104700531

Thursday, 21 May 2015

News

I am busy with the newsletter...  If you have anything you would like to share email joy.coetzee@gmail.com, please.