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 -

Sunday, 18 December 2011

December 2011 / January 2012

“At this Holiday Season our thoughts turn GRATEFULLY to those who have made our PROGRESS POSSIBLE.”

I want to express my appreciation for your generosity in support of The Ruth Mailbag Group. Your personal commitment was incredibly helpful and allowed us to reach our goal. Your assistance means so much to me but even more to the moms, babies, children, elderly and shelter pets. Thank you from all of us.

Judy, for travel size toiletries, face cloths and delightful little baby sets.
Craig, ( for space on his web site.
Northern Natal TRADER, for space in their publication.
Johnny, for being our "Santa" and with his "sleigh" taking another load of clothes through to Ikhaya Lethu for us.
Karin, for beautiful knitted bears and white knitted jacket sets.
Doreen and friends (Gerty, Francis and Jean) for baby hats, bootees and jackets.
Mr Sardiwalla, for clothes, etc.
Anonymous from the UK, for beautiful baby jerseys.
Shirley Brownlee, Norway, for beautiful baby sets, caps and bootees.
Pam (Debbie B's mom), for beautiful sets, bears and an onesie (babygro).
Gwen Draffan, England for Christmas card, beautiful jerseys, jackets, shrugs, caps, bootees and mittens. 
Thank you, Debbie McKay, for beautiful hats, hair accessories, bum creams, nappies, finger brushes, caps and Christmas card.
Julie and Emma, Blackpool, UK, for beautiful quilt, jerseys, caps, sleepers (babygros), leggings, matinee jackets and card.
Ladysmith Gazette for space in their publication.

Your support is much appreciated!!!

Fourteen of us got together at the Guinea Fowl Restaurant for lunch on the 3rd December.  It was a lovely outing and a great time to relax and enjoy each other’s company, our thanks to the management and staff for their hospitality and great service.  Everybody seemed to enjoy their goody bags and it gave us all some new ideas for crafting in the New Year.

I spent a great deal of time packing and delivering gifts, first to the residents of the Juana Maria Home for the Frail Aged, the kiddies in the paediatric wards, staff of the nursery and maternity ward, moms and babies in maternity and babies in the nursery.  Special word of thanks to Mark Fountain for playing Santa the day we visited and gifted the kiddies in the paediatric wards and for assisting with the carrying when we gifted the nurses.  Also a very, very big thank you to Barbara, Francis, Mark’s friend and Retha for helping with all the gifting, to quote Francis, she makes a very good “pack donkey” and just loves visiting.  To those who are not familiar with the layout at the state hospital it is a very long walk along the walk ways from the parking lot to the various wards, you really need to get your walking shoes on and have many hands to help carry all “Santa’s” heavily laden bags.  Once again, to Santa and ALL his helpers, I couldn’t have done it without you.  Bless you and thank you!!!

The staff at the state hospital asked that we sponsor baby packs for the Christmas babies, I have made up 2 special packs that I have left with the staff to present to the first two Christmas babies and their moms.

Reminder!  Current project is Chemo Caps for hospice.  Project closes on World Cancer Day, 4 February 2012.

Friday, 9 December 2011


HAT PATTERNS,default,pd.html


CHEMO CAP PATTERNS (This one is nice and deep...)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Chemo Caps

Do you knit? Crochet? Sew?
Would you like to use this skill to help
someone who has undergone hair loss due to chemotherapy?

I am embarking on a project to do just that, and would like to invite you to join me.

My plan is to distribute the caps to hospice, so that they can more readily be available to those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy. But to make it work, I need volunteers to help with the production. Won't you consider joining me?

A knitted cap can't replace a healthy head of hair, but it can help soothe the emotions that result from the loss -- and if nothing else, it'll keep the patient's head warm until her hair grows back in.


You don't need much more than needles, time, and a single ball of yarn to make a warm topper.

Any yarn will do for the caps, as long as it's soft and washable. Bright colours are better than sombre ones, since anything that can make a cancer patient feel better helps.

If you are craft challenged you may like to purchase and donate caps, toiletry items, slippers, some mild teas like peppermint or chamomile, mint gum, little packets of instant soup like chicken noodle, with crackers, cotton kerchiefs (bandanas; they breathe so much better than synthetics), hand sanitizer for her visitors to use, simple unscented lotion and aloe, plus simple cotton gloves so she can touch things without getting lotion on them, fun fuzzy socks, toothbrushes, Lip Balm, etc could be nice as well...

Address:  The Ruth Mailbag Group, “For charity – NO retail value”, C/o Foto First, 180 Murchison Street, Ladysmith, 3370, South Africa
Fax: 086 516 4618
Closing date: 4 February 2012
Related links:

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Newsletter - 3 December 2011

With your support there is hope!

We collect baby friendly items, both new (donated) and used and make up a ‘new mom’ pack for the very poor, destitute moms who give birth at the government hospital. These moms have nothing, besides the clothes on their back.
We make up a ‘pack’ for each of the destitute moms. So that when they leave the hospital, the new baby has at least one outfit to keep warm in. This is our way of giving back to our community, our country. Our focus is on all the preemie and newborn babies. Sadly, here in South Africa, the poor moms don’t have insurance.
Each pack has a baby blanket, a going home outfit, a nappy and pin or SNAPPI, “bum cream”, a gift tag and a small item for mom. Can you imagine this new mom, terrified out of her mind, no money, nothing, a brand new baby and then getting this parcel from a total stranger.  And more than just the stuff for the baby, the personal item is so special. Poor women are among the most marginalized in the country, they seldom have any resources to spend on themselves, and here is a little something just for them. Words fail me.

There really are beautiful people in this world, people who restore my faith in mankind, people like YOU. I am so honoured to know YOU.

Items that we try to include in the packs are hand towels, washcloths, wide-tooth combs, nail clippers, bars of toilet soap, toothbrushes (in original packaging), “bum cream”, cloth diapers, pins, SNAPPIS, T-shirts, vests, onesies, gowns, sleepers, sweaters, sweatshirts, jerseys, jackets, blankets, caps, beanies, hats, socks, bootees, leggings, samples and travel size items, etc.

Project of the Month

Chemo caps for patients suffering hair loss during chemotherapy and these items will be donated to Ladysmith Hospice for distribution to chemo patients.  This project will close on the first Saturday in February.  Please feel free to add any care items to your packages for these patients.


This group will be in recess from the first Saturday in December until the first Saturday in February; however, this will not prevent babies from being born, so, our gifting will continue during this period.

We will move our meeting venue to Tuinhuis starting with the meeting to be held on the first Saturday in February. 

Thank you…

Shirley Brownlee, Norway, for the beautiful sets, caps and nappy pins.

Mr James Wu, WTY Marketing, for 2 bags of baby jerseys.

Karen Higley, UK, for beautiful blankets, jerseys, caps and bootees.

Anonymous, for a bag full of assorted travel size toiletries.

Ladysmith Presbyterian Church Women’s Fellowship, for generous donation.

Mr Strauss, for cloth nappies and SNAPPIS.

Ladysmith Gazette, for ongoing support.

MSC Agencies, for bath & shower gel and body lotion.

Rehana - The Wool Shop, for wool and Melanie, for pens.

Ladysmith Baptist Church, for handsome hygiene kits.

Anonymous, for clothes and shoes.

Madeline, IN, for delightful caps and cute little shoes.

Karen, UK, for beautiful sleeper suits and baby face cloths.

Colleen Raciborska in Pietermaritzburg, for beautiful Christmas blankets, vests, baby-gros, face cloths, SNAPPIS, nappies, tubes of FISSAN, bottles of J & J, shakers of J & J, waterproof pants and purple hat.

Johnny, for taking a bakkie load of clothing and shoes to Ikhaya Lethu Orphanage and Care Centre at Colenso.

Rayisa Sirkhot | Sales Consultant| Ladysmith - Absa Building | 255 Murchison Street | Ladysmith 3370 Office: +27 36 637 7072/5 or +27 36 638 2600 | Fax: +27 36 631 3979
and her team for beautiful toys.

Tanya Alldred, for beautiful patterns for our knitting group.

Boardman Bros, for Petroleum Jelly and Camphor Cream.


Gifted to the babies and moms: 45 Premature and 46 Newborn sets with purple hats... Thank you, to all who contributed towards these packs, your support is very much appreciated. Thank you, Barbara, for helping. The one baby was in the hospital for several weeks and slowly collected little outfits from us, when granny arrived to fetch her I am sure she was pleasantly surprised.

The staff is always friendly and helpful. On one visit there was a new security guard at the gate, who thought he would give me the run around, but, some cleaners got to the gate at the same time that I did and they talked me in and through security, telling him never to stop me again, because I'm helping the babies!!! Must say it made me feel good that people I don't ever see when visiting the babies and their moms actually know all about the work we do. How awesome is that!!!

Thank you, for your support!!!

Madeline writes: "What you're doing is amazing, by the way. It feels like so many charities don't do what they say they do, or are outright scams. Thank you for being different." Bless you, Madeline, and thank you!!!

Snappi’s unique community drive allows for you to make a contribution to a non-profit organisation benefiting babies and children in need.  It’s so simple! Select an organisation, select the products you would like to send, make payment, and allow Snappi to arrange for delivery on your behalf. All products are made available at a reduced price for this drive.
You will be provided with a tax invoice, detailing your gift purchase.  Please take the time to browse through the website, and learn more about these worthy organisations.
Please support The Ruth Mailbag Group at SNAPPI!!!

Thank you, Shirley Brownlee, Norway, for being the first to "Give a Gift" at SNAPPI. 

When gifting at SNAPPI - the “Kiddo Safety Finger Toothbrush” and the “Healing Balm” will be good for “The Ruth Mailbag Group”, please - .

 God bless,
Joy Coetzee

Fax: 086 516 4618
Delivery: The Ruth Mailbag Group, “For charity – NO retail value”, C/o Foto First, 180 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370, South Africa
Related links:;;;!forum/the-ruth-mailbag-;;