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, 10 July 2014

NEW ADDRESS

 
NEW ADDRESS
 
Thank you, to Yvonne and her friend Kerry Oliver, we have a new address for collections, please address all your post to:
 
The Ruth Mailbag Group, No Commercial Value - For Charity Only, C/o PC Galaxy, 23b Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.
 
Hand deliveries only, please note - Office hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm. Sunday’s and Public Holidays they are closed.
 
Thank you to all who offered help of any kind during this worrying time, your support and encouragement has been amazing.
 
Yours in charity crafting,
Joy
The Ruth Mailbag Group

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

URGENT!!!


URGENT!!!

It has come to my attention that Yvonne’s business, Foto First, is for sale and that they will be closing on 31 July 2014.

Please do not send any packages to their address with immediate effect.  As soon as I have been able to secure a postal address for “The Ruth Mailbag Group” I will advise you and we can commence sending packages again.  I do not wish to lose any of your precious work in this interim period.

I will also not have a local collection point at this stage so I kindly ask that you bring your donations to our monthly meetings held at 2 pm every first Saturday of the month at the Juana Maria Home, please, mark your packages very boldly “The Ruth Mailbag Group”.

If you are aware of somebody who wishes to act as our local collection point please let me know immediately.

I apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you in advance for your co-operation.

Yours in charity crafting,

Joy – The Ruth Mailbag Group

Monday, 23 June 2014

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP – Newsletter 6 of 2014


THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP – Newsletter 6 of 2014


Knitters are very generous people. We know that many of you already knit for charity, our primary interests are the premature and newborn babies born at government hospitals across the country, and that there is a need for more promotion on knitting for charity. We have received many enquiries asking which hospitals need knitters and we hope to let you know, but we do need your help.

 
If you know of any hospitals who accept clothes and blankets for their premature and newborn babies, please let us know so that we can keep everyone informed.  To tell us of any hospital you are knitting for that would welcome help from other knitters, just send an email to joy.coetzee@gmail.com and I will try to include your message in the next available issue of our newsletter.

 
Any hospital with a labour and delivery floor will likely be thrilled to accept hats, layette items, and blankets sized to fit preemies and newborn babies. 

Remember, before you take a trip to a hospital, be sure to call them ahead of time and ask if they will accept whatever you have to donate. Some may have guidelines; others may not be able to accept the items in question for one reason or another. Most, however, will be very glad to accept whatever you have to offer!


Another thing to keep in mind is that the need for garments or knitted items is all year round and not just in the winter time.  Hospitals are often overwhelmed with donations at the holidays, but still need items throughout the year.

 
 

 

As parents of premature and sick babies, being able to dress their baby is very special as it is one of the first “normal” things that they can do for their baby and / or if the mom is destitute the joy of having something nice / pretty / cute to dress her baby in is overwhelming for most.

 

There is also another aspect to the work we do...  For some families an impending birth does not just mean one new arrival, but two, three or more!!!  Being told you are having twins or triplets can be a great shock! The care shown by a stranger knitting a gift for the new babies at an overwhelming time is appreciated beyond measure.

 

Our babies need all the help and support possible in the important first stages of their lives.

 

Our knitters create beautiful items for newborns in our hospitals, particularly for the very small, vulnerable babies in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit. This is a very important service as these specialised items are not generally for sale in shops.

Bed socks are also lovingly made for our moms.

Please share your charity crafting stories!!!

 

Mon, May 26, 2014 at 9:53 AM, Snoeks Desmond snoeks@global.co.za wrote: I’ve sent emails to Wendy and Pam (both mentioned in your newsletter). Wendy to ask if we can work together to support moms at Murchison Hospital and Pam to suggest that instead of starting a group in Pinetown that she joins our group as we already have quite a few members from Pinetown.

On Thursday a huge bag of larger sized items went to Pietermaritzburg to be collected and taken on to Creighton. The chain goes like this: B & B 4 B to Crystelle to Octavia to Alan to Deb and finally to the children and adults in Creighton. And we know the chain works!

One of our group members, Janet, recently moved to Umtentwini and suggested we make a delivery to the hospital at Murchison (just outside Port Shepstone). On Friday we went off there and delivered 36 packs to moms and their babies and left 5 more packs for the two women who were in theatre and the three young women in labour who were pacing up and down outside the delivery room. The staff was very welcoming and the matron came around with us and introduced us to the moms and told them a bit about the project. We were there at the time when moms and babies were being discharged and there were several grandmothers waiting to take their daughters home and we were pleased to see two dads there to support their partners. There were two sets of premature twins, so tiny! Many of the packages were opened immediately and the women seemed very pleased with their gifts. Some started looking through the children’s books we received as a donation from Biblionef and have been able to include in the packs.

I was wondering how on earth we were going to be able to support two hospitals with our cupboards once so full now rather bare. Over the weekend three large bags of goodies arrived for us, another bag promised and two knitters joining the group. I am once again amazed at how things seem to work out.

So well done everyone and keep it up – as we always say, those babies keep coming and need our help!

 

Mon, May 26, 2014 at 2:33 PM, Doreen Brits <doreenbrits@worldonline.co.za> wrote: Many thanks for the newsletter and photos.  The box of goodies was delivered to Harrismith on Friday morning. In return Premature and New Born clothing were given; I will bring it to the next meeting.

 

Fri, May 30, 2014 at 9:36 PM, Barbara <barbarahiggs@telkomsa.net> wrote:  I have only just caught up with my e-mails this evening and thought I would let you know that once again I have so enjoyed your lovely, informative and interesting newsletter. Wow! I am sure you never dreamt you would have this wonderful support and donations world wide as you have when you first started out. I must congratulate you on the wonderful job that you have done and still do so faithfully and from your heart.

I was so saddened and so very sorry to read about Pam Chadderton's dreadfully sad news in your letter – I thought I would let you know that I have made contact with her. Peter worked with Pam for a number of years and had a lot of respect for her and I enjoyed her too. Lovely person.

 

Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 11:15 AM, merilynncourt@gmail.com <merilynncourt@gmail.com> wrote: 70 Beanies & 70 pairs of booties to King Edward.  Kind Regards.  Lenie

 

GIFTING

 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 – Gifted to Ifafa Beach Women’s Action Group, Sinethemba Shelter for Domestic Violence Victims in Ifafa, via our friend Mo Mac Allister, 1 large box and 1 large black bag full of assorted clothing for all ages and 1 large bag full of wool for knitting.  Thank you to one and all who in any way contributed, bless you and thank you.

 

Thursday, 05 June 2014Gifted bag full of curtains and various household items to victims of a shack fire, read article at this link http://tabloidmedia.co.za/?p=24287.  In response to this report of the shack fire I contacted our intrepid journalist and asked if we could assist with curtains and other household items, she wrote:  “I would be so happy if you could help.  I WOULD rather like your help with a house that a three year old had burnt down.  Please let me know.  They have lost more in the fire than the other house.”  Thanks, Claudine, for giving us this opportunity to assist and a big, big, thank you to all who contributed in any way.  Bless you and thank you for caring.

 

Sunday, 08 June 2014 - Gifted 12 premature and 19 newborn babies.  Moms delighted and staff helpful.  Thank you to one and all who contributed to going home kits, blankets and toiletries for the boarder / lodger moms, your support is much appreciated.  Thank you to Mariette, Francis and Shirley for helping me with the gifting and carrying all the bags.

Sunday, 15 June 2014 – Gifted 17 newborn and 14 premature babies.  Moms delighted and staff helpful.  Thank you to all who contributed in any way, your support is much appreciated.

Condolences – Sadly, Aileen Larkin, friend and past member of our group passed away on 28 May after having been very poorly for some time.  RIP Aileen.  Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

 

Stories of help for babies in hospitals across the country

 

Knitted Outfits for Preemies – All The Way from Australia –


Sorrento’s Hair Salon knit for Tygerberg children’s hospital - http://leadsa.co.za/?p=2058


Mowbray Maternity Hospital Receives Knitted Caps and Blanket Donation from Germany - http://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/mowbray-maternity-hospital-receives-knitted-caps-and-blanket-donation-germany

Hug a Baby - gift bags to disadvantaged mothers of new babies in local State hospitals of the Western Cape, South Africa - http://hugababy.wozaonline.co.za/





Donations will greatly help newborn babies this winter -


How a Small Group of Volunteers is Changing The Lives of Our Country's Next Generation



 

EXCERPT - The Greype-Vine, Grey’s Hospital, Pietermaritzburg

May 2013


Editor: Alison Guise-Brown Pager 515

Members: Mrs. A Chetty Occupational Therapy. 3200

Mr. Z Mntungwa PRO 3684

A group of ladies from the Jubilee Women’s Institute, Sister Debbie Mckean’s mom’s ladies group,

have knitted Mother Therese vests for the prem babies in the nursery, and the students and staff from The Wykeham Collegiate have once again been knitting beanies and teddies for Sr Seethal’s trachey children. We’d like to say a huge thank you to them for their generosity.

 




 

I am delighted to see that something we are doing in a small way for moms and babies is being recognised as a national need and that somebody is actually doing something about the very real problem we all identified long ago...  The pilot project, I understand, from reading the above articles, will be run in the Western Cape, I do hope that it will not take too long for the roll out to all our hospitals to commence...

 

There will always be a place for charity crafters like you and I, so, I do not see this “Thula Baba” Box closing all our groups down, the emphasis may shift from newborn, but the need will always be with us for our premature and sick little ones.

 

MEETING - Thank you, to all the ladies, who attended the meeting, held on Saturday 7 June 2014, it was wonderful to see you all looking so well.  Highlight was the closing of the “Wol en Naalde” Challenge that some members have been participating in...  Although Janet started later than the other members it now looks as though she is the winner by far and this will be confirmed at the next meeting.  Well done ladies your participation was very much appreciated.  The show and tell was thoroughly enjoyed and everybody so appreciated each other’s talents, always encouraging and supportive.   Those who were absent 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, 5 July 2014 at 2 pm.

 

HEALTH AWARENESS DAYS - Walton Street Municipal Clinic, 20 Walton Street, Ladysmith 3370 has asked via our friend and member, Barbara de Wet, for baby items to gift to the moms and their babies during the period 1 – 7 August 2014 for National Breastfeeding Week.  Please contact Barbara if you or your company would like to contribute to this project.  (((Barbara you will be thrilled to hear that I have KAS Cuddles, vests and hats for you.)))

 

WORLD WIDE KNIT IN PUBLIC DAY 2014 - Thank you to all who attended and those who brought eats, we all had a wonderful afternoon together.  Highlight of the event was the presenting of prizes to loyal members who participated in the “Wol en Naalde” Charity Challenge recently.  Congratulations Janet, Doreen and Francis (in her absence) you are all stars and with your help we were able to receive and collect over 200 premature baby jackets for distribution to our babies.  Thank you to our sponsors for the generous packs of wool presented to these hard working ladies.  Photos on facebook page. 

 

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.

 

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)

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 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

 

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, (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.

 

Yours in charity crafting,

Joy Coetzee – Founder

The Ruth Mailbag Group


 

FORUMS –









 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP - NEWSLETTER 5 OF 2014


THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP - NEWSLETTER 5 OF 2014

Dear Ruth Mailbag Friends and Members,

The Ruth Mailbag Group aims to help newborn and premature babies in South Africa.  The Ruth Mailbag Group makes and gifts / donates tiny premature and newborn clothes, blankets and small soft toys free of any charge to N I C U’s (government / state hospitals) across the country for parents who need our support.

We are a charity crafting group, depending entirely on the hard work, kindness and dedication from members and friends worldwide without whose support none of this would be possible.

With your help we could do so much more.

Friends and members like you are the foundation of our success, and we want you to know how much we appreciate your loyalty.

We would like to thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter, please take a little longer and browse through our attachments and then visit our various forums listed below.

Thank you.

FORUMS –

http://stitchnbitch.org/Outside-United-States/South-Africa/8374-Ladysmith/View-details.html
http://theruthmailbaggroup.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.com/groups/the-ruth-mailbag-group/
http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-ruth-mailbag-group
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/the-ruth-mailbag-
https://twitter.com/RuthMailbag
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ruth-Mailbag-Group/153666104700531
 
THANK YOU - Allyson Johnson, NSW; Alta Scheepers and the Methodist WA; Annette Matthews, Pretoria/Malaysia; Anonymous; Carol Bower and friends, St Luke’s Crafters, England; Denise; Doreen Brits and friends; Doreen Wissing and friends, Pietermaritzburg; Eileen and friends; Francis Labuschagne; Heila Jooste, Honeydew; Janet Mill and friends; Karin Strauss; Knit-a-square, Bryanston; Ladysmith Gazette; Morag McNeill Van Deventer and friends, Pietermaritzburg; Noleen Nortje, Kempton Park; Phyllis Botha, Sinoville; Renate Dunham; Rosemary Earp Jones; Sharon Rosen, UK; Viv, Joyce and Christine, South Wales

GIFTING

Thursday, 22 May 2014 - Gifted to 3 month old and 1 year old babies in Harrismith assorted clothes, jerseys, hats, bootees, leggings, blankets, towels, nappies, face cloths, sponges, various toiletries and a soft toy each via member and friend, Doreen Brits.  To everybody who in anyway contributed, bless you and thank you for helping us to help these little persons.

I am sorry that very little gifting was done this month but first I took time out to visit with my family and then I was sick with a viral infection and I was not prepared to share my germs with our babies and / or their moms.

Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 3:39 PM, Liittledunc littledunc@mweb.co.za wrote:  Thanks for the valuable copy of the newsletter, the attachments and the wonderful tips and contacts and advice. It’s so humbling to be associated with a massive operation like yours and we are grateful that you assist in the way that you do for so many smaller operations around the country. Thank you, especially, for the plug about “Precious Babies” which will surely attract the attention of Pretoria based kind hearts.
I wish you a Happy Easter and may you be blessed in the work that you do.  Duncan Bain - Precious Babies Knitters, Pretoria.  (012) 348-8029.

Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 10:17 AM, Camilla < camilla@netactive.co.za> wrote: Good morning, dear Care Buddies / Baby Buddies!
Personally, as well as through our Church (Kreuzgemeinde Nelspruit - Lutheran Church), I would love to help on an ongoing basis with your project. We call ourselves - The Handy Hearts!
I got your details from the newsletter sent by Joy - Ruth Mailbag.
We have regular meetings of our Women's Guild (Frauenkreis) on the last Wednesday of a month at 2:30 at the Church on 39 Percy Fitzpatrick Street.
It would be wonderful if one of your ladies could come and join us at a meeting and tell us all about what you do and let us know how we can help. We would welcome you with a lovely cup of coffee or tea and wonderful (mostly) home-baked cake!
We also support CANSA with knitted/crocheted items ......but a helping hand can never extend far enough!!
Please contact me - I already have a few items which I would be happy to pass on. Knowing who to create things for makes it so worthwhile.
Blessings for the work you do. Camilla. 082 819 1099 / 013 712 5647.
I am sending a copy of this mail to my Church and to Joy for info. C.

05/05/2014 11:11 AM, Bianca Birdsey <biancabirdsey@gmail.com> wrote: Please help us help deaf babies.  Please see the attachment and feel free to support and pass on for further support as much as possible. 17 babies are born deaf every day in SA, and their chance to live their lives to their full potential, largely depends on early detection and intervention. HI HOPES is making this possible in SA. Their services are offered free-of-charge to the families that they serve. Please help us help other families like ours, through supporting Graeme's "do it for charity" Mt Kilimanjaro climb! Thank you so much!! ​Bianca​

Tue, May 6, 2014 at 12:03 PM, Elsabe < highwaymin@lantic.net> wrote: In Heidelberg there are a few ladies knitting for the prem babies. The lady that used to collect and hand out the clothes left for Australia. Can you please provide me with new details for the contact person?  AG Visser Hospital, Heidelberg.  Regards, Elsabè Esterhuizen, Admin Koordineerder, 016-349-1996, 074-890-0388, 086-502-8441, highwaymin@lantic.net, www.highwaymin.co.za.  (I did provide her with Eleanor van Rooyen’s email address and I trust they were able to help each other.  If you have any information that may be of assistance to Elsabe, please, contact her at the above email address.)

Tue, May 6, 2014 at 11:58 AM, Melanie van Vuuren < accounts@eleca.co.za> wrote:  There are some brilliant loom patterns on the net for those who are scared of knitting needles and the patterns are as easy as pie.  I manage to do an adult beanie in an hour.

Tue, May 6, 2014 at 12:33 PM, yumyum528@vodamail.co.za < yumyum528@vodamail.co.za> wrote: News from Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.  Baby Buddies (project to supply blankets, sleeping bags, hats, bootees and toiletries for premature babies born in the local Government Hospital) has teamed up with Care Buddies (a team of ladies who visit people in Old People’s Home in our area.)  The dear ladies in the Old People Homes have kindly been knitting squares for blankets and jumpers for these precious babies.  Kind Regards, Brenda Davies - Baby Buddies

Tue, May 6, 2014 at 1:05 PM, Shirley <capetroll@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:  Still making jackets, booties, hats and blankets. I sent a parcel out a month ago which seems to have disappeared In the mail. Hopefully it will turn up. With winter coming soon, I would hate to think of our babies being cold.  Thank you!  Shirley in Norway.

Tue, May 6, 2014 at 1:29 PM, Ronda Lowrie < lowrie@mweb.co.za> wrote: I am in the Cape with my husband until 16th May but want to let you know that the plan to drive to Ladysmith on 24th May with a load of Knit-a-Square items for your preemies is still on! I will confirm and we can arrange between us the time we might meet with you for a Wimpy coffee to handover the items - closer to the date. God bless ... best wishes, Ronda - Knit-a-Square

Tue, May 6, 2014 at 3:27 PM , Wendy Walker <wendyannwalker@gmail.com> wrote:  Our group has grown to 10 now (including 2 men who donate money and adult clothing) and we are still knitting/crocheting away merrily. However after receiving no acknowledgement or thank you from the provincial hospital in Port Shepstone after donating more than 200 items over a year, I am looking elsewhere for likely recipients.  I'm going to investigate Murchison hospital (also a provincial hospital inland of Port Shepstone) and I know of two ladies who run 2 separate baby shelters for AIDS orphans.  That's all my news for now, Wendy

Wed, May 7, 2014 at 10:13 PM, Pamela Chadderton < pam.chadderton222@ymail.com> wrote:  I have some outfits ready but at the moment will only be able to get them to Ladysmith in the next couple of weeks. Life has been a whirl wind at the moment.
Daughter and her family have been out for the month of April, with our son’s wedding on the 12th April and then a week later my brother was murdered with his wife on a guest farm near Harrismith. This has all been too much for me to comprehend. His son is still on the road to recovery and we are having the funeral tomorrow.
So as soon as I am strong enough again I will get the parcel to you.
I will be doing some work in the Pinetown area to see if I can start a group in Pinetown.
The lady (Michelle Biddulph) that wanted to help in the sewing group last year, I have lost her phone number and can't trace the e/mail on my computer. If possible do you have a way to recall that message to me?
I do apologise for not been more active but will change.
Keep up the good work and may God Bless you richly.  Take care, Kind regards, Pam
(((Congratulations on the wedding of your son!!!  So sorry to hear about your brother and sister in law, you are in our thoughts and prayers.  If you remember Pam from her time with Ruth Mailbag Ladysmith please send her a little message of encouragement to help her through this very trying and sad time.  Michelle Biddulph if you read this, please contact Pam at the above address, please.  Anybody in the Pinetown area if you would like to help Pam, please contact her at the above address.)))

Wed, May 7, 2014 at 2:31 PM, allyson johnson < allyson.johnson@email.com> wrote: I've been a busy little bee making the purple wrist warmers and the pink and white gauntlets for family members. (((Photos on facebook page.)))  I was wondering if you think they may be suitable for some of the (younger) mommies rather than bed socks which the more mature moms might prefer.  They take less time to knit and also weigh less, so I could do more sets of these for the same time and postage.  I know they're not really practical...really just a froufrou bit of fashion fun, but please tell me what you think.  (((They will be a wonderful little “spoil” item for the moms, especially with winter fast approaching.  Thank you!)))  I have also been given some lovely new yarn for my 35th wedding anniversary last month.  Not typical baby pastels, but great fun to work with.  The other pastel side-to-side matinee jacket is a similar pattern to the one listed with those lovely multicoloured jackets posted by Snoeks Desmond. It is an 8 ply pattern and worked all in one in garter stitch with the only sewing up being the sleeves. Also busy with blankets and bed socks as well as a stack of bootees already ready to go.  Very best wishes, Allyson Johnson

Sat, May 10, 2014 at 9:59 AM, Edna Rudder < edna.rudder@gmail.com> wrote: I have handed two parcels of children’s clothes, donated by Paddy Chetty, to Morag during this past month.  Collecting clothes on my side has become rather slow as the church has had a huge drive for Aids children and needy little ones.  With winter coming up I am looking out for some warmer little things that can be handed out.  The little ones grow out of their clothes so quickly so I hope that I will be blessed with further items of clothes.  God bless, Edna

Mon, May 12, 2014 at 8:07 AM Claudette Vickery < claudettev@tafta.org.za> wrote: Just want to find out my mother Mrs L.Vickery 85 years old, knits hats and jerseys for the babies and the last time we took it down to Addington Hospital one of the staff members there said they were not going to be collecting any more, is that correct, if not, who do we give it to or is there another place that we could drop off items.  Well done to you and your group of people for all the good things you do.  Many thanks, Claudette Vickery, Switchboard / Reception, TAFTA, 031-3323721, email: claudettev@tafta.org.za, Fax2Email : 0862970823.  (((It is the hospital’s prerogative to decide to accept or not items to be gifted to the babies.  I would suggest that no further packages are delivered to the Addington hospital unless we should hear differently from the hospital.  You may like to contact one of the following for donations in the future:-

Beanies And Blankets For Babies: King Dinuzulu Hospital Complex (previously King George V Hospital)
Address: PO DOMERTON 4019; 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 very near King Dinuzulu Hospital and would be happy to help with receiving gifts / a place where people can drop things off instead of posting them and then helping by taking them to the hospital.  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
Phone: 031-2076503 / 0837835117
Email: Snoeks@global.co.za

King Edward VIII Hospital
Address for donations:
     Postal: Private Bag X02
     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: Newborns and toddlers clothing, blankets, etc.)))

Fri, May 9, 2014 at 1:55 PM,  carolbower < caz@kittymail.com> wrote: I’m so glad to be part of this wonderful work,  a lady dropped off a big bag of bootees yesterday so I will be sending them off to you soon along with another parcel of jumpers and beanies.  We have a new craft group running now and have been making bags for the “days for girls” charity that makes feminine hygiene kits for girls in Africa so that they can continue their education when they are menstruating.   God Bless you all,    Carol Bower

MEETING - Thank you, to all the ladies, who attended the meeting, held on Saturday 10 May 2014, it was wonderful to see you all looking so well.  The show and tell was thoroughly enjoyed and everybody so appreciated each other’s talents, always encouraging and supportive.   Those who were absent 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, 7 June 2014 at 2 pm.

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.

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
September for November – Click for Babies / Purple hat project (Awareness of Shaken baby syndrome and Period of Purple Crying)
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 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

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, (PLEASE USE YOUR GOOD OLD POST OFFICE!!!)  Thank you in advance for your support!

HOSPITALS - 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!!!

BLANKETS - Most hospitals prefer 30 x 30 inches size blankets, that way they can be taken home for newborns.

COLOURS – This is Africa and we all enjoy colour, from the pastels through the whole spectrum to the brights 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 newborn babies of all sizes and weights, from 1.6 kg to newborn babies.

SWEATERS / JACKETS / TOPS - Should fit from 1.6 kg to newborn 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 newborn 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 40 newborn and premature babies at the local Government hospital.  In these baby packs we place basic items for the baby’s well being 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.

Knit yourself some happiness - http://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/knit-yourself-some-happiness-1.1682772?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=dlvr.it#.U2iyN_mSz0A. “Crafters have long recognised the therapeutic value of activities such as knitting and crocheting. A 2013 survey of more than 3 500 knitters worldwide, for example, found that 81.5 percent of respondents rated themselves as feeling happier after knitting.
But could crafts such as knitting offer more far-reaching, long-term health benefits?”

ATTACHING MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION AND PATTERNS 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, patterns, and information in this newsletter. Thank you for using your time and talents to help the babies.

Yours in charity crafting,
Joy Coetzee – Founder
The Ruth Mailbag Group
Contact: Joy.coetzee@gmail.com

Attachments available on request – please send your email to joy.coetzee@gmail.com.  Thank you.