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 -

Monday, 28 May 2012

Nelson Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela Day

18th July

The Ruth Mailbag Group will be visiting the moms and babies at the local State hospital bearing gifts!

If you would like to contribute to these packs please consider donating some of the following items:  Combs; Toothbrushes; Toothpaste; Soap - Baby / Mom; Vaseline / Barrier Cream; Face cloths - 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 or very good quality second hand).

Closing date for this project will be Friday, 13 July 2012 to allow time for packaging.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


With the first frost this morning these are much needed for the babies.  Recommended size 30 inches square or bigger (30 inches = 76.2 centimetres)

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Newsletter 6/2012


Below is Yvonne’s own personal message:
"At last we are back and settled after an amazing two weeks with our German friends! We would once again like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the incredibly kind donation of clothing that was made to our social responsibility activities on tour.
We gave the adult clothing to a very poor rural Zulu homestead which so kindly allowed us to enter their homes so that the Germans could gain a better understanding of the traditional Zulu home life.
The rest of the teenager, children, toddler and baby clothing was donated to a very needy cause: the Koningsdal Children’s Home in Babanango, Zululand. What a blessing that was! This Home, run by Mr and Mrs Brown, is a place of safety for nearly 90 abused and abandoned babies and children. Their stories of rape (a mother holding the girl down while the men in the household rape her), abuse (a father using a hot iron on the back of a young child), alcohol syndrome, etc are enough to break anyone’s heart and the time we spent with them certainly brought a smile to many of those sad, weary faces. Most of the children are HIV positive but most are relatively healthy. The home also caters for the approximately 18 child headed households in the area (some led by children as young as 12 years old!). That which we donated to them was very welcome. A life changing experience for all who took part.
Once again thank you for your and Ruth Mailbag’s support!
Thank you, Yvonne Kidd"
Letters like yours, I do so love receiving!!! I am always grateful that we are in a position to assist even if it is only a drop in the ocean… Bless you and thank you for letting us be a part of your project.
THANK YOU: Alta, Methodist WA, Karin Strauss, Gerty, Rina, Doreen, family & friends, Shirley Brownlee – Norway, Mariaan Botha, Phyllis, Colleen Raciborska, Pam Chadderton, Knit a Square, Mr Sardiwalla, Ellie, Judy & sister, Di, Sharyn, Rosemary Powell, Meisie, Joan, and Mrs Jerome.
We greatly appreciate all of our donors and volunteers, without you our group would not exist. Please know that if your name was left off our list it was unintentional and all of your efforts are valued and appreciated.
GIFTING: (93 babies and moms gifted recently)
37 Babies and moms gifted on 2012/05/12. Moms delighted!!! Special thanks to Mr. Strauss and Mr. Sardiwala for the toiletry packs; Knit a Square for the KAS Cuddles and blankets; your support is very much appreciated. Thank you, Barbara and Retha, for helping me carry and gift, without you I would never have managed. Bless you all and thank you!!!
Gifted to the moms and babies on 2012/05/06 - 19 newborn sets and 9 preemie sets. Staff always friendly and helpful. Moms very grateful with choruses of thank you as I was leaving. Thank you to all who made these packs possible.
Gifted on 2012/05/01 - 11 newborn sets and 14 preemie sets, thank you to all who made these packs possible. You will be pleased to know that Sandi Ndlovu and her quadruplets have gone home, God’s richest blessings to them all!!!
Winter warmers for preemie and newborn babies: Thank you for your support!
International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day: As this was so close to Mother’s Day I combined the two occasions and the moms got bumper hampers from us.
Reminder! World Wide Knit In Public Day – 9 June 2012 at 11h00 at the Mary Catherine.
Reminder! CLICK for Babies campaign – purple baby caps will be distributed in November.
Yvonne at Foto First: The mail deliveries and local donations have been coming in regularly and we are grateful. There is presently a problem with the road works in town as this causes huge traffic backlogs, or the road is simply closed for “repairs”. It is very frustrating. If people have a problem, they should just let us know and we can try to make a plan to collect during this time.
Karin and Beacon Fellowship: The ladies at Beacon Fellowship are knitting away whenever they can. I am knitting prem jackets and blankets.
NEW HOSPITAL LISTING: No new listings at this stage.
Blog - 3
Facebook - 109
Flickr - 2
Google groups - 7
Ravelry - 377
Yahoo groups - 19
Total - 517 world wide

Many of our members do not belong to any of our groups/forum and still support us liberally anyway… Bless you and thank you!
MEETING: The last meeting was a huge success and we shared and swapped patterns and yarn over teas, coffees and some of Sharyn’s homemade lemon juice, very good!
Happy crafting / shopping,
Joy – Founder - The Ruth Mailbag Group
Fax 086 516 4618
Related links:!forum/the-ruth-mailbag- ttp://

Saturday, 5 May 2012

World Wide Knit in Public Day

World Wide Knit in Public Day

9 June 2012

Join The Ruth Mailbag Group

as we knit with hundreds of other knitters around the world!

Where: Mary Catherine,

2 Farquhar Road, Ladysmith

When: 11h00 – 12h00

Bring: own knitting/crocheting & money for liquid refreshment and / or a meal

World Wide Knit in Public Day was created by Danielle Landes in 2005.

To find out more about WWKiP Day visit

Thursday, 3 May 2012



Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Start Knitting Now...

Start Knitting Now...

To Prevent Infant Abuse

Each and every day infants across the world are shaken and abused because the person caring for them became frustrated with their crying.

Many times the abuse could have been prevented had the person caring for the infant only known that early infant crying may be normal.

CLICK for Babies is an initiative to help educate caregivers about normal infant crying, how to cope with crying and the dangers of reacting to crying in frustration by shaking or harming an infant.

Step 1 – Find a newborn size baby cap pattern.

Step 2 – Purchase any shade of baby friendly purple yarn.  Other colours of yarn can also be used in your cap, but be sure that the cap is at least 50% purple in colour.

Step 3 – Start knitting or crocheting as many caps as you would like.  Infant heads come in a variety of sizes.  As a general rule, caps should have a circumference between 19.0 – 34.0 cm and a height of 9.0 – 15.0 cm.

Step 4 – Send your completed caps to organizers in your area, see list of Ruth Mailbag Hospitals below.  Caps will be distributed to babies in November with the Period of PURPLE Crying program.


Kindly note that no item may be sold, they are to be given to the babies and their moms free of any charge!!!

Please mark all packages “FOR CHARITY – NO RETAIL VALUE”.

Name of hospital: Busfare Babies Birth Centre

Address for donations: Box 411, Kidds Beach 5264, South Africa

Name and telephone number of staff liaison person who will receive donations for distribution: Karen Clark 082 776 3622

Group Coordinator: Carolyn Turnbull 082 940 5534

Name of hospital: Ladysmith Provincial Hospital

Address for donations: The Ruth Mailbag Group, “For Charity, NO Retail Value”, C/o Foto First, 180 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370, South Africa

Name of hospital: Port Shepstone Hospital

Address for donation: P/Bag x5706, Port Shepstone 4240. Cnr of Connor and Bazley Street, Port Shepstone 4240, South Africa
Name and telephone number of staff liaison person who will receive donations for distribution: Nursery, Thembisa Nxokweni +27 (0) 39 688 6190/000 Cell: 083 332 3722 / 072 071 7140 (in the event of landline service failure)

Name of hospital: Stanger Hospital

Address for donations: PRIVATE BAG X 10609, STANGER 4450, South Africa

Name and telephone number of staff liaison person who will receive donations for distribution: Miss Silindile Mzila - Public Relations Officer - 076 717 2006; Tel: 032 437 6240; Fax: 032 552 2767; Cell: 076 717 2006; E-mail

Name of hospital: Itshelejuba Hospital

Address for donation: Itshelejuba Hospital, P/Bag X0047, Pongola 3170, South Africa (N2 north, about 30 km past Pongola)

Name and telephone number of staff liaison person who will receive donations for distribution:  Mthandeni Mzelemu (Public Relations Officer); 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

Name of hospital: Charles Johnson Memorial Hospital

Address for donations: PRIVATE BAG X 5503, NQUTHU 3135, South Africa

Name and telephone number of staff liaison person who will receive donations for distribution: Lillian M. Ntuli – 082 260 5700 Tel: 034 271 6462; Fax: 034 271 0169; Cell: 079 523 7970; E-mail