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

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP: NEWSLETTER 1 OF 2015


THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP: NEWSLETTER 1 OF 2015

 

Thank you to everyone who sent Christmas & Holiday greetings!  2014 was a good year, but it flew by much too quickly and will always be remembered for a lengthy postal strike that came very close to crippling our work with the moms and babies.

A sincere thank you to everyone who sent donations to The Ruth Mailbag Group, your knitted, crocheted, bought and / or good quality second hand goodies were much appreciated.

 

THANK YOU – Allyson Johnson, Australia; Ann Glendinning, Scotland; Anonymous, UK; Doreen Brits;

Frances Labuschagne; Mary Jones, UK; and Sharon Rosen, UK.

 

I have exciting news to report!  I was interviewed by Nicole Haschke for Knitting for Charity.org and thank her most sincerely for her support!!!  Two awesome articles to be found at the following links - 
http://www.knittingforcharity.org/a_south_african_knitting_charity_helping_poor_mothers_and_th.html#more
http://www.knittingforcharity.org/an_interview_with_joy_coetzee_founder_of_the_ruth_mailbag_gr.html#more

 

VOLUNTEERS WANTED: I am looking for local volunteers to help me coordinate gifting to Ikhaya Lethu at Colenso, Môrester Children’s Home, 2 Paediatric Wards at the Provincial Hospital, Walton Street Clinic, and the Child Protection Unit.  As you know Barbara is leaving soon and we need help keeping those projects going and to bring back on line the children’s homes and paediatric wards.  I will pass suitable donations on to you and then it is over to you to gift them, the same as Doreen, Gail and Barbara have been doing with the hospital in Bloemfontein, Siyathembe in Durban, Walton Street Clinic and the Child Protection Unit.  If interested, contact me to discuss this idea, please.

 

GIFTING

 

Thursday, 18 December 2014:  Large amount of assorted clothing and yarn gifted to the Psychiatric Complex of the Free State, Bloemfontein, via Doreen Brits.

 

Sunday, 21 December 2014:  Gifted 19 preemies and 20 newborn babies.  Mums delighted with their packs, especially the soft toys I have been putting in the packs, once a child always a child!  Staff friendly and helpful.

 


 

Sunday, 28 December 2014:  Gifted 23 preemies (several twins) and 12 newborn babies.  Mums pleased with their packs.  Staff very friendly and helpful, even called me back when they realised I had missed one of the moms while she was in the shower.  To all those wonderful people who make these packs possible, bless you and thank you.

 


 

Sunday, 04 January 2015:  Gifted 23 preemies (several twins) and 19 newborn babies.  Mums happy with their packs.  Staff very friendly and helpful, the little boy in the well baby room lost his mommy last week.  To all those wonderful people who make these baby packs possible, bless you and thank you for your kindness and generosity.

 

Sunday, 11 January 2015:  Gifted 36 babies (several twins), thank you Ronda Lowrie and Knit a Square for the vests and hats today.  Mums thrilled with their packs.  Staff very friendly and helpful.  The baby boy in the well baby room has been discharged.  To all those wonderful people who make these baby packs possible, bless you and thank you for your kindness and generosity.

 

Sunday, 18 January 2015:  Gifted 39 babies (some twins), thank you Ronda Lowrie and Knit a Square for the vests today.  Mums thrilled with their packs, I had enough small cakes of soap to add one to each pack for mom.  Staff very friendly and helpful.  To all those wonderful people who make these baby packs possible, bless you and thank you for your kindness and generosity.

 

DATES TO REMEMBER IN 2015 / 6 - Please plan your projects around the following days.  We will concentrate on items for the babies (premature and newborn).  Please donate items such as baby clothing, new or gently used and handcrafted items, supplies for crocheting and knitting, etc.

 

February for 17 March – St Patrick’s Day
March for 5 April – Easter Sunday
April for 15 May – International Kangaroo Care Day
May for 20 June – World Wide Knit in Public Day – bootees for newborn babies
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) - hats for newborn 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

 

Please address all your post to: The Ruth Mailbag Group, “No Commercial Value - For Charity Only”, C/o Elna Sewing and Knitting Centre, 74 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370, RSA, OR 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!

 

How to pack a parcel for mailing and / or hand delivery - Choose a box.  The box will need to be big enough for your items to fit into.  Wrap your item in protective material (such as a plastic bag) and place into the box.  Close up the box and seal along any edges by good quality tape.  If you have used a second hand box you will need to ensure that any old delivery labels or address details are removed before sending.  Address your parcel depending on the requirements of the post office.  Write a return address on the item.  Put a contact name & email address and (a telephone number for local deliveries) inside.

 

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP MEETINGS

1st Saturday of the month
February through November
14h00 to 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.
December – end of year function and January - in recess!
See you there!!!

There were no meetings held in December (we held our end of year function instead) or in January as this group was in recess for the holiday period.

 

RUTH MAILBAG COMMUNITY NEWS

 

Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 9:43 AM, Snoeks Desmond <snoeks@global.co.za> wrote:
Beanies and Blankets for Babies - After our delivery on Christmas Day of gifts to 41 babies we thought it would be some time before we could make another delivery. But the miracles continue and last week we made another delivery, once again to 41 babies. We were asked by a senior staff member if we could bring beanies for premature babies as they need these for their kangaroo care programme. We will try to do this next time we visit (and now our cupboards are really quite bare!). We have also been able to send several bags of wool, knitted, crocheted and sewn items to Creighton for distribution amongst children with disabilities and families in need. So, the year has started well and as we gather more members into our very informal group, we know we will be able to continue to help moms and babies at King Dinuzulu Hospital and families in the Creighton area.

 

Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 9:25 AM, Morag van Deventer <morag@bundunet.com> wrote:  A few pics of the recent donations can be found at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=817538818313253&id=153666104700531&notif_t=notify_me.  My group, Kuvela Othandweni, together with friends and Ladies of Our Lourdes, Scotland, have made it possible for new stationery for Salvation Army Children’s Home Pietermaritzburg, as well as clothing for babies and toddlers at 14 rural crèches through Project Gateway, and stationery for Nel’s Rust Rural School. These are ongoing projects, which will continue in 2015.

 

Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 5:40 PM, Wendy Walker wendyannwalker@gmail.com wrote:  Bowlers for Babies - We made a visit to Murchison Hospital mid-December and gave out 36 packs (including one set of twins). It seemed quieter as a lot of mothers had been sent home early for Christmas. We still had a very warm reception and gave each mother a pair of slip on slippers (generously donated by Snoeks Desmond from Blankets and Beanies for Babies) the photo shows one of our devoted members, Lenie Geyer, giving a mother her pack - to see the pic go to the following link - https://www.facebook.com/153666104700531/photos/a.154071577993317.39350.153666104700531/818078604925941/?type=1&theater.
The summer pack we gave away had a receiving blanket in instead of the knitted blanket, plus a knitted vest or jacket, booties, hat and nappy.
We have enough stock to pay another visit soon - in which I'll include a knitted blanket and a baby-gro with hat (instead of the knitted jacket and booties)

 

Please let me know if you learn of any hospital or group updates.

 

PHOTOS - Please find new pictures of items knitted / crocheted by dedicated Ruth Mailbag volunteers, on our facebook page at the following link -  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ruth-Mailbag-Group/153666104700531.

 

Yours in charity crafting,
Joy Coetzee – Founder
The Ruth Mailbag Group

Fax: 086 516 4618
Contact: Joy.coetzee@gmail.com

 

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

 

The Ruth Mailbag Group - Package Inventory

Please fill out this form as completely as possible and include it on the inside of your package.

This package contains:

 
Blankets
 
 
Socks / bootees
 
 
Bought baby clothes
 
Jackets / Jerseys / Vests
 
 
Toiletries / Nappies
 
 
2nd hand baby clothing
 
Hats / Beanies / Bonnets
 
 
Toys
 
 
 

 

Other:
(Please specify)
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Sender Details:

Name:
 
Organisation:
 
Email address:
 
Address:
 
City:
 
State/Province:
 
Postal / Zip Code:
 
Country:
 

 

Anything extra which you would like to tell us?
 
 
 
 
 
Expected send date:
 


Cut off the slip below and attach it to the outside of your package (or copy the address and declaration onto the outside of the package).  This will ensure that your parcel reaches us safely.

"- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- -

The Ruth Mailbag Group
C/o Foto First
10 Francis Road
Ladysmith 3370
South Africa
 
For charity only. 
No commercial value.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Merry Christmas to all!


NEWSLETTER 12 OF 2014


NEWSLETTER 12 OF 2014

 

From letters and messages sent to me by participants in The Ruth Mailbag Group I realize that what I started 12 ½ years ago as a personal volunteer project has grown well beyond anything I could have imagined back then. Those letters and messages really make my day! I never thought that one person could make a difference, but I’ve changed my mind about that.  What you do does make a difference in this world and I hope that you will continue to do all that you can to warm and comfort others in need. Each hat, blanket, gown, toy, and shawl does affect someone who really appreciates your concern and kindness.

 

As you make New Year’s resolutions for 2015, please include the continuation of donations of hats, booties, shawls, toys, blankets, etc… to comfort the sick & those in need.

 

Thank you for all that you’ve done in 2014 and very best wishes to you and your family for a happy holiday season.  Looking forward to continue the warm association we share in the coming year.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

I trust that you will enjoy the articles and information in this newsletter. Thank you for using your time and talents to help the babies.

 

THANK YOU - Ann Glendinning, Scotland; Barbara and family, UK; Carol Bower and friends, England; Doreen Brits; Dorris Bullock and Scholars Court Knitting Club, England; Eileen Conway, Scotland; Ffion Wilkes, England; Frances Labuschagne; Gerty Kotze; Jocelyn Williams; Judy Maccarone; Karin Strauss; Kay Thorne and the Geluksburg ladies; Ladysmith Gazette; Ladysmith MOTHWAS; Mariette van Staden; Mary Ann Oosthuis; Meisie Foster; Melanie van Vuuren; Mr and Mrs Suresh Riga; Renate Dunham; Retha Fountain and Rosemary Earp Jones.  Errors and omissions regretted.

 

You will be as pleased as I am, to see that our packages from abroad are coming through after the long postal strike in our country. 

 

GIFTING

 

Sunday, 30 November 2014: Gifted 24 premature babies and 23 newborn babies, moms very appreciative of their packages and purple hats and so were the staff; so happy, pleasant and thankful for the help their mommies are getting.  I visited the “baby with no mommy” and left a package for her and the staff pointed out another baby girl whose mommy was admitted to ICU and asked if I would like to leave a package for the baby as I could not visit mom in ICU, I was happy to do that.  Sad story today was a mommy in KMC who lost her baby this morning and had asked to be left in seclusion, understandable, so her door had been closed and she was having no visitors, please remember this little Angel Baby and her mom in your prayers, as well as the mom I mentioned above who is in the ICU.  Bless you all and thank you for making these baby packs possible each week, you are all stars!!!

 

Sunday, 07 December 2014: Gifted 17 premature babies and 17 newborn babies, moms very happy with their packages and so were the staff.  I visited the “baby with no mommy” and left a package for her, the staff particularly glad to receive a face cloth among other items in her pack this week.  Bless all who contribute and thank you for your generosity and time that goes towards making these baby packs possible, even during this time when we are still reeling from a postal strike that lasted nearly 4 months.  What stock comes in each week now, is going out to the babies the very next weekend, so, we continue to be provided for.

 

Christmas and New Year Babies:  Despite our very, very low stock I have been able to pack 2 very nice boxes of baby goodies including goodies for the moms which I will be taking around to the hospital in time for Christmas and New Year.  Bless you and thank you for all your contributions to these special packages, your support is much appreciated.

 

Sunday, 14 December 2014:  Gifted 24 premature babies (several twins) and 15 newborn babies, moms appreciative of their packages and the staff most helpful.  The “baby with no mommy” has been discharged.  I was able to add small soft toys to the packs today and hope to do so through the rest of the month into January.  Bless you and thank you for your contributions to these packs each week, your support is 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   Kindly remember that this is our acknowledgement / gratitude forum.  If you do not see your donation photographed here please let me know.  Thank you in advance for your co-operation.

 

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.

 

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
May for 20 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
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

 

Please address all your post to: 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!!!)  Thank you in advance for your support!

 

COLLECTION POINTS:  Please be advised that we now have 2 official collection points for our goodies.  Elna Sewing and Knitting Centre and now Rocco at Foto First, 10 Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370 has kindly offered to also be a collection point for The Ruth Mailbag Group.  Please support these kind people and their businesses.  Bless you and thank you!

 

How to pack a parcel for mailing & hand delivery - Choose a box.  The box will need to be big enough for your items to fit into.  Wrap your item in protective material (such as a plastic bag) and place into the box.  Close up the box and seal along any edges by good quality tape.  If you have used a second hand box you will need to ensure that any old delivery labels or address details are removed before sending.  Address your parcel depending on the requirements of the post office.  Write a return address on the item.  Put a contact name & email address and (a telephone number for local deliveries) inside.

 

PATTERNS - Please do not use 100% wool, acrylic is more durable.  You may use any pattern of your choice to fit 1.6 kg to newborn babies, preferably jackets or jerseys that open all the way down the front to make it easier to dress the tiny preemie babies.

http://danettesangels.tripod.com/patterns/emilybonnet.html
http://danettesangels.tripod.com/patterns/emilysweater.html
http://danettesangels.tripod.com/patterns/hats.html
http://danettesangels.tripod.com/patterns/hugsblanket.html

Please remember!  Do not make your blankets / Afghans smaller than 30 inches x 30 inches, smaller will not be used as they are not used in the unit but for going home.  Thank you.

http://danettesangels.tripod.com/patterns/hugshat.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/content/articles/2006/04/18/premature_baby_jacket2_feature.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/content/articles/2006/04/18/premature_baby_set_feature.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/content/articles/2006/04/15/v_necked_cardigan_feature.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/content/articles/2006/04/17/2needle_cardigan_feature.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/content/articles/2006/04/18/hand_knit_cardigan_feature.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/content/articles/2006/04/15/seamless_neck_down_cardigan_feature.shtml

 

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 by 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, “No Commercial Value - For Charity Only, C/o Elna Sewing and Knitting Centre, 74 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370, South Africa.  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT - Please add a note with your email address so that I may acknowledge your parcel.  Thank you for your support!

 

The Ruth Mailbag Group Meetings - 1st Saturday of the month - February through November - 14h00 to 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.  December - end of year function; January - in recess!  See you there!!!

 

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 preemie 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.

 

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 obviously baby pinks and blues other colours which may be used are: Lemon, Cream, White, Mint green, Peach, Lilac and Aqua. It is recognised that bright and dark colours should be avoided as they often make preemie babies look frailer. When knitting burial garments the advice suggests its best to use colours such as white or cream and to avoid pinks, blues and lilacs, as they aren't suited to the colouring of a stillborn baby.

 

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?

 

Cardigans - 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 o of 'give' to help make dressing easy. Stretchy knits such as garter stitch work best as they provide the necessary 'give'.

 

Blankets - Preemie baby knitting charities usually appreciate blankets. Avoid lacy patterns or blankets with large holes in can be dangerous for little fingers.

 

Hats - The best type is the ventilator hat as they allow the babies to have head scans without removing the hat. Keep the designs simple and preferably without any ties and fastenings. Check the specific sites for the knitting patterns they recommend.

 

Booties - 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, 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 - Combs; Toothbrushes; Toothpaste; Soap – Baby & Mom; Vaseline/Barrier Cream; Face cloths/sponges – Baby & Mom; Towels – Hand & Baby

Receiving Blankets; Baby Blankets; Diaper Pins; Cloth Diapers; Gowns/Sleepers/”Babygros”; Infant Socks/Bootees/Hats; Sweaters/Jackets. (Preferable sizes Premature/Tiny baby/Newborn/0 to 3 months/1 -3 months). (New / very good quality second hand / handmade).

 

RUTH MAILBAG COMMUNITY NEWS

 

I love hearing from members and friends, so, please do not hesitate to send us a note / message with your news / views / interviews / etc.

 

Sat, Dec 6, 2014 at 6:43 AM, Renate Dunham <sdunhamldy@gmail.com> wrote:  Dear Joy, It is with sadness that I have to resign from your group with immediate effect.  I am moving to Krugersdorp to live with my daughter and grandsons.  It has been a most stimulating and blessed time in association with you and the group!  Time has marched on and changes are inevitable.  I remain with fondest memories Yours Renate Dunham X

Renate, we are sorry to see you leaving, missing you already and wish you every happiness with your daughter and grandsons.  Your friends at the Ruth Mailbag Group

Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 11:17 AM, Snoeks Desmond <snoeks@global.co.za> wrote: From Beanies and Blankets for Babies - Late in 2013 Joy Coetzee suggested I start a group to make and collect things for babies born in King Dinuzulu Hospital in Sydenham, Durban. Little did I know how exciting the year ahead would be! We have collected and made and delivered gift packs to babies, we have collected and given moms soaps and lotions from hotels and guesthouses around the world as well as holding lucky draws in which moms have received a range of gifts. Some of the items we received have been too big for babies and some items have been for adults. These we have sent to Creighton in the southern Drakensberg where they are distributed to children and adults who are in need. When our contact in Creighton asked us to see if we could get a bicycle, wheel chairs, and matric dance dresses we tried and succeeded (much to our surprise!).

Three wool shops in the Durban area collect and make donations and this helps as it cuts down on the delivery and collection of wool and completed items.

We have made contact and received donations and knitted items from people in Australia, England and Scotland as well as around South Africa. Some of these people have never met each other but continue to offer support. Some people in Durban have met several times at Antique Café to share tips, chat and encourage each other. We have a Facebook page and an email group and it is through these that we share photos taken by one of our members. In this way we are able to acknowledge all gifts. Several of us have asked for wool instead of birthday gifts and this has enabled us to provide wool to those whose purses cannot keep up with their needles.

All the way through this year we have been able to turn to Joy for support and advice and we enjoy being part of a larger group as well as linking with groups in other parts of the country and the world.

I think that we have all benefited from being part of this initiative – there are warm babies, happy moms, happy children and adults as well as the many generous people who want to help others and have found this to be a good way to reach those in need.

We will make our final delivery on Christmas Day where we will wish all moms and babies a Happy Christmas – as we now wish all those who are part of this great network.

 

Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 4:27 PM, Doreen Brits <doreenbrits@worldonline.co.za> wrote:  Hi to all, the Ruth Mailbag Group monthly meetings have (sadly) come to an end for this year...

The Busy Bees Group will have their last get together “therapy” morning on the 10th. With all that was achieved until now it is no surprise the year passed so quickly! Before winter, jerseys were knitted and collected, 2 crèches benefitted from this project. Koekie Jacobzs Senior Centre had their 1st fete in May, so we did some crafting for the needlework table. We don’t have political issues, so when wool was donated by a political party we all joined in to knit jerseys, aged 2‐6 years. September month was the Juana Maria Frailcare Home’s fete and we did some knitting/crocheting for their needlework table. Koekie Jacobzs Senior Centre had their 2nd fete in November and more crafting was done to support them. Every month at the Ruth Mailbag Group meetings those of us that are members of both groups could still hand in something they had made for the babies or border Moms...  During the year I also collect clothing for the patients at the Psychiatric Complex of the Free State (Bloemfontein) that I take to them in December.  The Ruth Mailbag Group's support is much appreciated.  Now it is time to relax! Season Greetings to all, enjoy the festive season and a blessed 2015. Doreen Brits

 

Yours in charity crafting,
Joy Coetzee – Founder
The Ruth Mailbag Group
Contact details: Fax 086 516 4618; Email Joy.coetzee@gmail.com

 

FORUM:

http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-ruth-mailbag-group
https://twitter.com/RuthMailbag
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ruth-Mailbag-Group/153666104700531