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, 19 February 2015

Newsletter 2 of 2015

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP: Newsletter 2 of 2015

Greetings to everyone reading this newsletter.  I hope that you are enjoying knit and/or crochet projects that will comfort hospital babies and others in need or an expression of caring.  Thank you for all that you do.
I am always concerned when I learn that a hospital stops accepting donated items, or will not allow our members to gift the mothers and babies at their hospital.  Obviously, hospitals are very concerned about their liability when distributing donated items to patients.  You cannot sterilize all that you donate, but you do need to be careful that your donated items are clean, free of dust and cat/dog fur, and free of cigarette smoke.  And as much as I love my cat, animal hair is NOT something that we want to have on anything donated to a NICU or other hospital department.  It may be necessary to wash finished items and roll with a lint roller before delivery.  Also, be very careful to remove all straight pins from finished projects.  Use safety pins or yarn to attach labels, NOT straight pins!
I enjoy sharing photos and reports with you, photos of newborns, their moms and photos of finished items that are ready for delivery.  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 for all our members to enjoy.
Please remember that The Ruth Mailbag Group has no secretary or any hired staff.  If I don’t respond immediately to an e-mail or message, please understand that this is a one person exercise.  When I am not available, there is no one else, please be patient!

Sincere thanks to everyone who sent items, I appreciate your participation and support.  I am very proud to say that The Ruth Mailbag Group (all that you have completed and donated to those in need) makes a difference in the lives of many people.  Besides the infants in NICUs and newborn nurseries, you have touched the lives of the moms, too.  I hope that you know how much your efforts and concern are appreciated.  You make a difference in this world – a good difference!!!  I am proud to know you and help you to accomplish all that you do.  I am very thankful that I started this project in 2002.  Thank you very much!!!

THANK YOU:  Allyson Johnson, Australia; Ann Hedley; Anonymous; Barbara UK and family; Blankets for Brianna, California, USA; Carol Bower and friends, England; Doreen Brits, family and friends; Ellie Weeber; Frances Labuschagne; Gail Rozendaal; Gerty Kotze; Gwen Draffan, England; Janet Mill and friends; Judy Maccarone and sister; Karin Strauss; Ladysmith Methodist WA; Mary Drainer, UK; Meisie Foster; Retha Fountain; Ruby Metcalf, UK; Sharon Rosen, UK; Shirley Farrington and Pauline Rosewell, UK; Sylvia de Lange; and Whittlesey Trefoil Guild, UK.

NEED:  Newborn size bootees / socks / leggings.  Totally out of stock!  Please help!!!

GIFTING:

Sunday, 25 January 2015: Gifted 46 babies’ packs today, unfortunately I ran out and some moms went without…  Moms delighted with their packs.  Staff pleasant and helpful.  Thank you to all who contribute towards these packs, you are all stars.

Sunday, 01 February 2015:  Gifted 42 babies’ packs today…  Moms surprised by their packs…  Staff pleasant and helpful…  Thank you to all who contribute towards these packs, you are all stars and much appreciated.

Unfortunately, I had to keep away from the moms and babies for 2 weekends as I had the flu and did not want to ‘share’ that with them.

Thank you for a lovely meeting, many beautiful donations were received for the babies and moms.  Gail Rozendaal will be our contact person for Ikhaya Lethu and Judy Maccarone will be the contact for Môrester, if you have items that are suitable for these children’s homes please pass your donations on to these ladies directly.  The WA will look after Child Protection Unit and Walton Street Clinic.  We are still looking for a volunteer who will be prepared to look after the paediatric wards at the local hospital.  Judy Maccarone will be our representative on the WA.  Yarn was distributed and many hands should be kept busy this month.  Bless you and thank you for your support!!!

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.

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
February for 17 March – St Patrick’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!

REMINDER!  Meetings are held every 1st Saturday of the month at 2 pm at the Juana Maria Home in Francis Road, Ladysmith.  Please come along and bring a friend or 2 or 3, donations, patterns to swap, yarn to swap, etc - See you there!!!

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. :-)

From my charity craft friend, Bev: “When you make items for those in need, please make them as if you were making the items for your own family or good enough to sell. Please, make them lovely and something someone would be proud to wear. From time to time, I receive handmade items that are badly made. Old, mottled scraps of yarn are used, ends are hanging out and not finished off properly, sometimes the items are filthy, or smell of cigarette smoke. Some of the hats are tall and skinny and could not be stretched to fit a toilet paper tube let alone a head. Occasionally, the stitches are so huge they are sloppy and will not keep people warm due to the holes.”

REMINDER!  Please don’t forget that some of the people who receive the items we make have not previously owned anything of their own, or it has been a long time since they have, let alone something lovely. They deserve our very best efforts. They deserve love in every beautiful stitch, and our prayers as we send them off to their final human destination. Please take care to make your charity items lovely works of art to not only warm the bodies of our babies, but to give them a gift they will only have because of you.

HOSPITAL UPDATE:

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

Kalafong hospital babies and Danville toddlers - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1501911063426463/

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

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

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

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

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

Ceza Hospital - Address for donations: Echibini Area, CEZA 3866.  Postal: Private Bag x200 CEZA 3866, South Africa.  Street: Echibini Road.  Name of staff liaison person: Londiwe Dlamini.  Telephone number of staff liaison person: 035 832 5181/ 076 623 2259.  Needs: beanies, bootees, vests, receivers, rompers.  General:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MURCHISON HOSPITAL - http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/murchisonhospital.htm.  Contact Person: Wendy Davies-walker at wendyannwalker@gmail.com, Bowlers 4 Babies group.  Please contact  Wendy for further information.

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

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

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

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

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

Siyathemba - Needs: Blankets, clothes and soft toys for newborn babies.  General: In a nut shell, we are helping to support young women with basic needs who would have otherwise aborted their pregnancy as a result of being overwhelmed by the seemingly impossible task to care for their unborn child. These needs are diverse, and we try here and there to help as we feel led. One thing we do for all is try to give each new baby a generous hamper of baby clothes to start him/her off. I've been collecting as much as I can, but generally run short as each little baby makes quite a dent in a bunch of things that has taken months to collect. If you are able to help in any way or would like any more information, please don't hesitate to contact me! :)
Contact person in Ladysmith KZN: Gail Rozendaal, Tel +27 36 638 4087; Fax +27 36 638 4103; Email gail.rozendaal@gmail.com.  Contact person in the UK: Susi Wakeman at facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/465611910188655/

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP:  Ladysmith Provincial Hospital - Address for donations: The Ruth Mailbag Group, C/o Elna Sewing and Knitting Centre, 74 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370, South Africa OR C/o Foto First, 10 Francis Road, Ladysmith 3370, South Africa.  Needs: preterm and full term baby clothes, blankets, nappies, soft toys and toiletries.  General: toiletries, facecloths and bed socks for the boarder moms.  Fax: 086 516 4618.  Email: joy.coetzee@gmail.com.  Blog: http://theruthmailbaggroup.blogspot.com

CONTACT DETAILS OF PUBLIC HOSPITALS IN SOUTH AFRICA

If you still have not found a hospital nearby, please, browse through the following list, I’m sure you will find a government hospital near your work, your home or your favourite shopping centre to support: http://www.doh.gov.za/show.php?id=2890

Winter in South Africa (May to July) is characterized in the higher-lying areas of the interior plateau by dry, sunny, crisp days and cold nights. The high mountains of the Cape and the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal usually get snow in winter.  So it’s a good idea to make and donate warm clothes with long sleeves and long pants / leggings.

Baby Blankets: we need baby blankets, minimum size 30 inches / 76.2 cm square, please, no preemie blankets as they are not used in the unit and will be much too small when the baby is discharged...  these moms and their babies come mostly from informal settlements where the accommodation is probably a shack, cold, draughty and leaks.  Please help us warm these babies.

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.

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.

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 - Each week our group gifts about 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, 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.

TIP FOR THOSE WONDERFUL LADIES WHO SEW BLANKETS for OUR babies.  Please do not hem the blankets, it makes for a bulky edge that is uncomfortable for the babies especially the premature babies, please over lock the edges it is ‘flatter’ and softer for the babies.  Bless you and thank you for your hard work and kind donations each and every one is much appreciated.

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

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SPREAD THE WORD?
There are many ways that you can help spread the word about The Ruth Mailbag Group. Many of you have already started which is a wonderful testimony to your generosity.  Thank you!!!

1. Share this information with all your online family, friends, and colleagues and print some for those who do not have email.
4. JOIN THE TWITTER GROUP - https://twitter.com/RuthMailbag.  Join today, you won't regret it.
5. CONTRIBUTE TO A KNITTING BLOG - If you belong to, or find a knitting blog, contribute a message to it that explains what The Ruth Mailbag Group aims are with a link to the site.  You can also visit our blog at - http://theruthmailbaggroup.blogspot.com/
6. WRITE TO THE EDITOR OF A KNITTING / CROCHET MAGAZINE - If you are a subscriber of various craft, crochet or knitting magazines write to the editors and point them in the direction of The Ruth Mailbag Group. Or if your local paper has a charity supplement, perhaps you could let them know about The Ruth Mailbag Group.
7. INVOLVE YOUR CROCHET AND KNITTING GROUP - Involve whichever groups you belong to, your book club, sports club, theatre group, walking group, fitness class. Someone you talk to will be interested in wanting to help. They will have friends who would like to contribute and so the wonderful connections will be made.

Yours in charity crafting,
Joy Coetzee – Founder
The Ruth Mailbag Group.
Fax: 086 516 4618

FORUMS –

 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, 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.

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