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, 25 July 2012


I have a favour to ask today, we have two projects coming up for the babies when we will require certain colours of yarn and wonder if you may have a small amount in these colours for us, please.

For the Shaken Baby Syndrome / Click for Babies / Purple Hats project we require yarn in any shades of purple / lilac to make baby hats to spread awareness in the community.

For Christmas we would like yarn in red, green and white to make baby friendly items in these traditional Christmas colours for the babies.

A donation of some or all of these colours for our ladies to knit, crochet and loom for the babies will be much appreciated.


Contact -;
Fax 086 516 4618
Related link -


THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP, “For charity – NO retail value”

Pictures in the collage borrowed from my friend’s blog at

Monday, 23 July 2012

10th Birthday Celebrations

Wish all our members and friends could have been here, to celebrate with us, on Saturday... Missed you!!!

We celebrated with a light lunch at the Mary Catherine. Thank you Sharyn and Staff for making it a very special day for us all.
Thank you, for your support and help in keeping this little group growing.  Thank you for all your support over the years!!!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Newsletter 8/2012



REMINDER!  The Ruth Mailbag Group is a Volunteer Organisation based in Ladysmith in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. This group is intended primarily for the Ladysmith area and surrounds, but please feel free to join in and then arrange collection points in your own area no matter where you are. The Ruth Mailbag Group is an initiative which would be of benefit to all communities in the world and particularly in Africa where there is an undeniable need. If you're serious about using your knitting, crocheting, sewing, looming skills and even your organisational skills, or simply if you want to get involved and inspire, The Ruth Mailbag Group welcomes you with open arms.  We are trying to get all communities worldwide involved with our "Baby it’s Cold Outside" initiative - be a caregiver in your own hometown and hook up with us! Start your own branch of The Ruth Mailbag Group in your own community!

Baby It’s Cold Outside! Crafters to knit, crochet, sew and loom items for premature and newborn babies for your own community.  This project will run all year!!! Call your friends, get together, and let's warm babies in need! Please tell others about this project! Let's warm the babies. Here are some places that might need what you make: Paediatrics wards, NICU's and maternity wards. You choose. Let's see if we can get someone from as many countries as possible, involved!  If you are craft challenged please consider donating items that cannot be handmade e.g. food, toiletries, toys, supplies for knitting, crocheting, sewing, looming, etc.  If you knit, crochet, loom or sew, you might be asking "How can I help?" It's easy! Simply find a place near you who might need some warm clothes for babies (premature babies need warm clothes all year round as they haven’t learnt to control their body temperature yet and need your help to keep warm even in summer). Call them up and ask what their needs are or will be, find some yarn in your favourite colours or use a mixture of them, needles or hooks and patterns. Visit the following links and get started! 

THANK YOU: Judy and sister, Retha, Anonymous, Pam Chadderton, Mr Straus, Amisha Bhadwandeen, Methodist WA, Helen Hsu & Lucky Knitting, Di Watts, Karin, Gail Rozendal, Gerty, Doreen, family & friends, Janet, Meisie, Phyllis, Julie, Doreen Wissing, Colleen Raciborska, Riga Byte CC, and Morne.

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.


Hello Joy, (Although this letter is addressed to me, it is also by implication addressed to YOU, without YOU, this group would not exist!!!)  Thanks for continuing to send me your newsletters; ...I wanted to thank you for the inspiration your efforts provide and although I'm sure other people do the same, I also want to acknowledge, recognise and appreciate how far the strands of love that you spin reach out to the rest of the world.   You have founded great work.  God Bless, Karen Higley

Thank you, Karen, letters like yours make my day and encourage me to carry on when the going gets tough...  Bless you and thank you for your continued support!!!


Comfort scarves, slippers/socks & toiletries for Victory Haven: Gifted to Victory Haven over 200 scarves and hats for the abused women and children that pass through their doors each year. Thank you, Eileen, for being our delivery person and thank you to all who contributed and made this donation possible.

Gifted to Ikhaya Lethu Orphanage and Care Centre half a bakkie load of winter warmers for the kids, thank you Johnny for taking them through to Colenso for us, your continued support is much appreciated. Also gifted a bag full of toddler jerseys to Ikhaya Lethu; Thank you Retha and Johnny for taking it to Colenso for us and thank you to all who contributed to make this donation possible.

Gifted today (2012/07/01) 18 newborn packs and 11 premature packs for babies, Moms very grateful and the staff very helpful, a very happy visit was had by all. Thank you to all who contributed to these packs, your support is much appreciated.

Gifted today (2012/06/24) 24 newborn and 14 premature sets, Moms delighted, Staff helpful; always a happy visit.

We supported the Herald’s Mandela Day project by gifting blankets for the children, winter warmers for the baby and miscellaneous toiletry items.

Mandela Day: Barbara, Retha and Eileen will report back after their visit with the moms and babies, they are packed and ready to go...  Bless you and thank you for making time for this project and to those who contributed items, thank you for your support.


Special Appeal – Baby Blankets: The morning after the appeal went out the little blankets started arriving in ones, twos, threes and more...  Bless you all for your support you are all stars!

Christmas in July: is currently underway.  Thank you for your support thus far.  This is proving to be a fun project and the babies are going to benefit from your efforts on their behalf.

I launched the Christmas appeal in June this year...  Last year I launched in September and many companies responded that I had left it too late for their budgets, so, here is hoping...

NEW HOSPITAL LISTING: No new listings at this stage.


Retha:  Lydia Jarman is absolutely ecstatic over our donation to the crèche which she has adopted. She is extremely grateful for whatever she can get and will be fetching it sometime after the 27th June. I have sorted all the toys and I will be keeping Barbara's until she needs it, since I believe that the Child Protection Unit is not up and running yet.

Yvonne at Foto First: At last the road is once again usable here at the shop! There are a few more parking bays available as the have taken away the little yellow pieces in between. Town is relatively quiet in the mornings until school comes out so people can now drop off their parcels for collection here. We have received a good number of parcels by post as well as courier delivery.  Thanks to all for their generous donations.

Karin and Beacon Fellowship: The work is a continuous process with some people away so it is going slowly but forward.

Pam and the sewing circle:  I have got one lady making little winter dresses and should have quite few within the next two weeks.  Trying to get more ladies to sew, will start again to make calls and will get back to you on that.  I have finished a prem set of jersey, bootees and beanie in the pink cotton and will try and see if I can get another set out of the yarn that is left over.  I am also waiting for two other ladies to confirm if they can knit or sew for the group. Should have answers before the week-end.

Thank you, every one of you, for your efforts on behalf of the babies!!!


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); Toys suitable for 0 – 3 months; New or very good quality second hand goods.

Happy crafting / shopping,

Joy Coetzee – Founder - The Ruth Mailbag Group

The Travelling Bookshop – AWESOME BOOK SALE!!!  Egerton Primary School, Ladysmith, 8 & 9 November 2012, 8th 10h00 till 17h00 & 9th 07h30 till 10h30.  Method of Payment – Credit card, cash & cheque.  Contact Rob Andrew, E Cape/ Natal Consultant on 082 879 8860, fax 086 545 4103,  A huge variety of brand new top quality books at AMAZING PRICES!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Christmas in July

How you can help

there are many items you could donate to


Christmas in July
Closing date for this project – 4 August 2012

Wool/buttons/lace/ribbon/fabric & sewing cotton

Blankets/clothes/food/toys/toiletries for preemie & newborn babies

New and good quality 2nd hand goods

All items donated are much appreciated

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP, “For charity – NO retail value”



Then why not join us or send in your finished items

Please remember to add your name and address / email so I can let you know they have arrived...

Contact -; Fax 086 516 4618; Related link -