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 or visit our blog at 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 -
Eastern Cape -
Gauteng Province -
Johannesburg -
KZN -;
Port Elizabeth -
Western Cape -

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Patterns for Toys

Patterns for Toys


Free Slipper Patterns

Free Slipper Patterns

Stitched Patterns

OFFICIAL PINK SLIPPER PROJECT PATTERN - easy one seam rag slipper looks really super easy! - awesome - awesome

Knitted Patterns - The Grandmother’s slipper downsized for a toddler. Lots to choose from. I printed 5 slippers. Now to make them. (Bed Peds Slippers) (there are 4 great knit slippers on this site) - is a revision on Grandmother’s slipper. This is knit completely on straight needles.
http://www.bevscountrycott l

Crochet Patterns Toddler Bella Slippers, Baby Bella Slippers, Bella Slippers Pattern name Faded-Picture, one piece, no sew slipper. Link to picture is under description of slipper. crocheted Mary Jane slipper Crocheted Toddler bootie


Sunday, 16 October 2011

NEWSLETTER – 16 October 2011

NEWSLETTER – 16 October 2011

The donations this month have been most impressive, many from abroad and of course the majority anonymous… thank you ALL very much for your generosity, kindness and compassion for the people we strive so hard to help. Your support, no matter who you are, no matter how big or small, is ALWAYS much appreciated by the people we help!!!

Ronel Langley accompanied me on one of my visits to the babies and their moms at the hospital and afterwards compiled a Tribute on her facebook page at -!/media/set/?set=a.2410182094951.262808.1263192336&type=3

Our baby hat drive called Click for Babies. (The clicking of knitting needles, that is.) Looking for newborn purple hats to raise awareness about infant abuse. Your knitted, crocheted, sewn, or bought caps will help educate the community about the Period of PURPLE Crying; a normal, although frustrating, period of increased crying all infants experience in the first few weeks to months after birth. Intense frustration with an infant’s inconsolable crying is the No. 1 reason someone has a momentary loss of control. Our PURPLE baby caps will educate everyone about the normalcy of crying and serve as a reminder that it is never okay to shake or harm an infant. Please knit, crochet, sew, buy & deliver or mail newborn baby hats (purple ones!) to: The Ruth Mailbag Group, C/o Foto First, 180 Murchison Street, Ladysmith. Please consider contributing, folks. Baby hats are a snap to make or buy, they don't take much yarn, and this is a worthy cause. Please visit the event page at -!/event.php?eid=254558281250225 2

Thank you, to all who contributed to the gifts delivered on Heritage Day! 27 Purple hats and 27 hampers containing barrier cream etc were given to the moms and babies. Thank you, Doreen, for your help and company.

Sadly there was no interest in the project for the Animal Anti Cruelty League this year, so we will remove this event from the annual programme.

TheChristmas appeal is under way. Christmas presents for: Elderly at the Juana Maria Home (50 hampers of stationery and toiletry items), Babies & kids in the paediatric wards (2) of our state hospital (toys for about 70), Premature & newborn babies at our state hospital (40 hampers of baby clothes and toiletries). Please visit the event page at -!/event.php?eid=280124042007516

The Koekie Jacobsz Senior Centre Fete will be held on the first Saturday in November, Donations please to Janet Mill at the Centre (week days mornings only!) Please visit the event page at

Thank you… for your support!!! .

1. Anonymous (Royal Mail UK), for beautiful premature baby creations.

2. Ellie, for beautiful jackets and bootees.

3. Johnny, for taking a box of clothes to Ikhaya Lethu.

4. Janet Rose, Derbyshire, England, for beautiful baby blankets.

5. S A Greetings, for generous and kind donation towards our end of year functions for the needy in our community.

6. Doreen, Mariaan and Massie for purple baby caps.

7. Doreen, Joan, Gerty, Francis, Mary Ann, and Retha for baby sets.

8. Gerty, for face cloths, nappies, matinee jackets and little tops.

9. Anonymous, for 3 carrier bags full of assorted clothing.

10. Ladies of the Ladysmith Baptist Church for beautiful blankets and the ladies of Beacon Fellowship for lovely caps, the kids are going to love them.

11. Reshna, for 2 boxes full of baby friendly items.

12. Doreen, for knitted socks, they will be great in the Christmas hampers for the elderly gentlemen at the Juana Maria Home.

13. Mariaan, for lovely scarves.

14. Trish Beaver, The Witness, for lending pen and ink to our group and the purple hat cause -[_id]=70075

15. Claudine, The Ladysmith Herald, and The Ladysmith Gazette, for affording our group and our various causes space in your publications.

16. Packages not yet opened – Life Anncron Clinic, Klerksdorp, Shirley Brownlee, Norway, and Kilmeny de Franca.

Our ongoing project is for the
preemie and newborn babies at the Provincial Hospital. Please remember that „First Love Doll‟ patterns are perfect for little ones up to 1.5kg. There 3

have been several babies recently under 1 kg in weight so those very tiny items you so lovingly make and send are not going to waste they really are being used and come in very handy. The moms are amazed that we have "their teeny tiny preemies in our hearts!"

Has your baby outgrown his/her clothes? Please pass on
good quality second hand clothing.

Kindly note that we have a blog, please take time to visit us at -

Koekie Jacobsz Senior Centre (65 Francis Road) needs empty clean 2 litre ice cream tubs with lids, margarine tubs with lids, other plastic tubs with lids like those used at the Spar for salads, etc. Please empty your cupboards and drop them off with Janet Mill, week days, and mornings only.

Once again, thank you for your support!

All for now, chat again, soon,
Joy Coetzee – Founder - The Ruth Mailbag Group

Delivery - C/o Foto First, 180 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370, South Africa. (Kindly mark all packages "
For charity - NO Retail Value", please. Thank you.)

Contact –

Fax 086 516 4618

Related links -!forum/the-ruth-mailbag-

Friday, 14 October 2011


CHRISTMAS PATTERNS (Ginger bread lady doll) (and
the following basic hat pattern) (and the following basic hat pattern) (and the following basic hat pattern) (Santa shelf doll)

I will hold Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." - Charles Dickens.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

General advice to help you knit for preemie and newborn babies

General advice to help you knit for preemie and newborn babies

Colours – All colours are accepted...  Africa enjoys colour...  and it is about warming premature and newborn babies.


Premature babies have very delicate skin and can often be allergic to wool; therefore Acrylic yarn is more appropriate when knitting for preemies. Ideal yarn to use for preemie knits is baby double knit or 4ply yarn. Most preemie patterns will use these.


Don't put too much importance on trying to perfect the size of a preemie item of clothing. There is a great difference between premature baby sizes and so an item of any size should be suitable for at least one baby. As a general guide premature babies head circumference is roughly the same as their chest circumference. The average premature baby’s chest measurements are 8"-14". However clothes of all sizes are needed for preemies, so no matter how big or small your item is it will most likely fit at least one baby.


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.

"God loves a cheerful giver. She or he gives best who gives with a smile." ~ Mother Teresa ~

Needs for babies, moms & the elderly

Basic baby pack: Medium / large preemie and Newborn

Baby gro / matinee jacket



Booties / socks (large donation recently received)

Jumper / sweater / cardigan

Cloth nappy / diaper and pin / snappi

Petroleum jelly / bum cream




Waterproof / rubber baby pants

Hygiene Kits: Moms / children and the elderly
Unbreakable combs

Toothbrushes (packaged)

Tube of toothpaste

Toilet soap

Hand towels / face cloths

Personal hygiene items for girls / moms

"I will never tire of repeating this: what the poor need the most is not pity but love. They need to feel respect for their human dignity, which is neither less nor different from the dignity of any other human being." ~ Mother Teresa ~