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

Friday, 26 October 2012

October Update: Siyathemba


October Update: Siyathemba

It’s been a busy couple of months for our family, and we’ve been privileged to see God prove so faithful yet again on so many levels!

After meeting with the Christian nurses two months ago, we are seeing nurses take patients aside and counsel them, sharing Jesus and the freedom that obeying Him brings, without necessarily referring them to us.  This really is the place that we have been wanting to reach – a ministry where our other Christian colleagues are excited to share with patients instead of always having the load fall on us alone, which poses an obvious problem when we are on leave or not available for whatever reason.  So, we are continuing to invest time into the Christian nurses to continue strengthening this network of support.  We’ve identified one nurse, in particular, who we’d like to really equip to maybe take over the ‘Ingwavuma Siyathemba’ one day when we leave.  She’s based in OPD which is the ideal spot to pick up abortion requests, so we’re excited to get to know her and involve her more.

We were so excited to welcome a little girl whose life was once threatened by the request for an abortion.  She was born 3 weeks ago to a rather nervous yet ecstatic young mum.  Her mum is currently studying a course in computers and is consequently unable to be with the baby 24/7 (pretty much the reason for her wanting the abortion as well as not being able to keep a baby at the place where she was previously living).  Siyathemba is helping her to finance a nanny for the baby whilst she is studying during the day, as well as helping out with accommodation expenses, as the little house which we are hoping to use at some point is still undergoing renovation. She named the baby the Zulu equivalent of “has been saved”.

As far as the formalisation of the Siyathemba trust goes, we seem to be very nearly there, as we just have a few little formalities to wrap up.  Once we have the organisation number and papers, we will be able to open a bank account which will make donations a whole lot easier.

We’ve also been really challenged to rise to the call.  Up until now, our encounters with girls wanting abortions have been mostly when we are the doctors consulting patients in out patients department (OPD).  There has been the odd occasion when we’ve stumbled upon a patient outside of OPD and had the opportunity to minister to them.  Most doctors find abortion counselling quite challenging and usually don’t look forward to it.  In fact, I think if most of us were to be honest with ourselves, we’d admit that at some time or another, we’ve kind of had a one-sided “agreement” with God.  Something like, after hearing via the grapevine that there is a patient with a TOP request sitting in the queue, daunted by the potentially awkward task ahead that you’d rather not be the unlucky doctor that gets to sort it out, you bargain with God, “God, if you want me to talk to her, then make it clear by working the queue such that she walks into my cubicle.”  There are two lives at stake here; of course God wants me to share the truth of His love with her!  We’ve been challenged to take the “bull by the horns”; if we hear that there is a patient, to make a point to go and find that patient and rather not risk the chance that she may not end up in our cubicle!  One way of helping the situation, has been by informing the nurses that we would be very willing to see any patient requesting a TOP referral, so to send such a patient directly to us even if we are not in OPD at the time.  This is not 100% secure and we do see that patients are referred for TOPs by names that appear in our “bus transport” book that drops patients off at various referral centres every day.  Burd has also decided to page through the bus book on the nights that he is on call (Bee doesn’t do calls) and if there is a TOP patient that is booked to catch the bus, to try and actively look for her to take a moment to tell her that she is loved and that Jesus has better plans for her.  We hope to challenge our other Christian colleagues to not pretend to be “pro life” and then avoid an interaction with a TOP patient at all costs, but rather “be bold and courageous” and yet gentle and kind – a tough combination!

A few testimonies of miraculous provision: 

We had a R9000 balance left for our start up costs, and wondered where exactly we’d source the money, again God provided us with exactly R9000 to cover the outstanding costs! We used to think that these kind of miracles only happened to pastors of big churches! ;) Actually another word on this point...a couple of months ago, Bee was chatting to God and mentioned that would be nice once and a while to see miraculous provision for Siyathemba as a sign that we’re still on the right track.  It’s just that so often, at the last minute when we’ve tried to help people, it has seemed as if our friends and family have come to the party to help meet whatever need we faced. We don’t doubt that God was using these people to provide, but Bee just thought that it really would be nice to have an absolute stranger who would just “drop out of the sky” and meet a need or provide for something that only God could have mentioned to that person.  Two weeks after that little prayer/thought, outpatients department called us and said that there was someone who wanted to meet us in OPD.  Now, Ingwavuma is not exactly the centre of a metropolis, in fact it’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere; not the kind of place you just stumble into...if you do, you’re probably very lost!  Almost nervously, we investigated further, and were greeted by a very sweet missionary whose only possessions in life were 2 back packs of goods; one large and one rather small.  He mentioned that he had met Bee’s mom in the Drakensberg and she had mentioned that she had a daughter in Ingwavuma - literally a short conversation between strangers.  He then explained that God told him to come and give the big back pack to us.  It was filled with clothes, a brand new camera and a bunch of other things.  Why on earth would he choose to give us, who have so much more materially than him, more than half of his earthly possessions?  I mean, he just “dropped out of the sky on us”.  We then realised that God had sent him to show us that He is God, He would provide for us however and whenever He pleased.   This gentle soul found our relaying of Bee’s little prayed quite amusing and left giving us a fair amount of his only cash for Siyathemba.  We were seriously humbled by this encounter.

There are some other exciting offers of baby clothes that we may get to give to the new babies and we’ve received emails of encouragement from absolute strangers, so God has been faithful to encourage us when we’ve felt very alone in the middle of the bush. 

People always ask what they should pray for us about. Firstly, for the women that we speak to – that God would really reveal Himself to them and be their Comforter when they feel particularly alone.  Secondly, that God would continue to sustain us for as long as we are in Ingwavuma, as it’s not an easy life, being far away from the conveniences of day to day living, but we’re pretty sure this is where we need to be for now anyway.

Love Bee and Burd

Summary for your information:

Name of hospital: Siyathemba
Address for donations:
Postal: Graeme and Bianca Birdsey PO BOX 416 Ingwavuma 3968.
Street: House 132, Mosvold Hospital, Main Road, Ingwavuma
Name of staff liaison person who will receive donations and distribute: Graeme and Bianca Birdsey MBChB (UCT)
Telephone number of staff liaison person: 0833686080 or 0355910122
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! :)
Email: thebird001@yahoo.com or biancagoodison@yahoo.com

Thursday, 25 October 2012

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP – NEWSLETTER 12/2012

 
THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP – NEWSLETTER 12/2012

THANK YOU – Frances Labuschagne, Colleen and Mabel Raciborska, Karen Higley – UK, Mrs Vawda, Barbara Dobson – UK, Anonymous, Janet Rose – UK, Nicola Suter – UK, Doreen - family and friends, Gerty and Meisie.  We greatly appreciate all of our donors and volunteers, without you our group would not exist.  We can't thank you enough for your recent donation. People take garments, blankets, etc for granted - until you don't have any! I just had to tell you how much we appreciate the goodies. It's all great stuff and I know the babies will look adorable in them and get lots of use out of them.  Thank you for being so generous and thoughtful!  Please know how much you've helped our destitute moms and babies and how much we all appreciate it. Please know that if your name was left off our list it was unintentional and all of your efforts are valued and appreciated.

LETTERS I LOVE RECEIVING

Celeste Schmidt: Thanks so much for the patterns, absolutely love them!!!

Selvi Gough: I sent another package a couple of weeks ago, please let me know when you get it.  I just love the work you are doing. Please pass my encouragement and love to all your team.

Bianca Birdsey, Mosvold Hospital, MBChB (UCT): Wow, Joy, this is so awesome! (After receiving copy of the flyer looking for Christmas presents for the babies.) Thank you again for your support! So appreciate it and totally humbled!
GIFTING - http://www.snappi.co.za/GiveAGift.html

Monday, 01 October 2012: Gifted to 11 premature and 20 newborn babies yesterday, staff very friendly and helpful, moms very pleased and as always a very chatty bunch of KMC moms, some new faces, some I have met before and others have gone home.  Thank you for your support in providing items for these baby packs, they go a very long way in helping destitute moms care for their babies.  Bless you and thank you!
 
October 7, 2012 – Gifted today 17 newborn and 16 premature packs to the babies at the local state hospital…  Staff very busy, moms some shy, some surprised and some, once they had got over their initial “shock”, were quite chatty, all very grateful and loved the bright colours I had for the baby packs today.  Thank you to all that contribute to these packs your work, love and kindness is very much appreciated. 

Retha Fountain: “Barbara and I gifted 3 bags of soft toys and 1 bag of knitted toys from WA to the Child Protection unit yesterday (8 October 2012).  They were extremely happy and said that it means so much to the little ones.”  Thank you to all who contributed to this donation. 

October 14, 2012 – Gifted today 12 newborn and 8 premature sets…  Very quiet ward…  No KMC moms…  Bless you and thank you for all the donations that make these baby packs possible. 

MEETING 

6 October 2012 – Had a lovely meeting today, 2 new faces joined us, welcome Isolde and Gail’s mom, trusting that you are going to be very happy among us.  After a lengthy discussion it was resolved to move our meetings back to Engen Wimpy with effect from the 1st Saturday in November.  Thank you to the Mary Catherine who has kindly hosted us in the past several months.  Our show and tell is always a huge success and much enjoyed by members.  Today we had quite a lot of wool to share and most members went home with enough to keep busy until the next meeting and beyond.  Thank you and bless you, friends, for a lovely afternoon, we are all newly inspired to work even harder for “our” babies! 

Monthly meeting to be held on the 1st Saturday of the month; February through December from 14h00 to about 16h00 at Engen Wimpy, Ladysmith KZN.  Thank you Engen Wimpy for your hospitality!  Bring your charity knitting, crocheting and sewing; any yarn and or patterns to swap, etc.  We talk about past projects, current projects, future projects, show and tell donations brought to the meeting, this is enjoyed by one and all as we all appreciate seeing what the other members are doing and share hints and tips, etc.  We drink tea, eat cake and socialize… we really do enjoy our once a month get together.  January in recess!!!  We are nearly at the end of the year!!! 

PROJECTS

CLICK FOR BABIES – Closing date for this project – 1st Saturday in November
Especially purple hats for newborn and premature babies 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.  Purple Caps will be distributed to babies in November. 

CHRISTMAS BABIES - Christmas Presents for premature & newborn babies and their moms
Traditional Christmas colours are red, green & white; Closing date for this project – 1 Dec. 2012. 

NEW YEAR BABY - Closing date for this project – 21 December 2012. 

NEW HOSPITAL LISTING 

Name of hospital: Siyathemba
Address for donations:
Postal: Graeme and Bianca Birdsey, PO BOX 416, Ingwavuma 3968.
Street: House 132, Mosvold Hospital, Main Road, Ingwavuma
Name of staff liaison person who will receive donations and distribute: Graeme & Bianca Birdsey MBChB (UCT)
Telephone number of staff liaison person: 0833686080 or 0355910122
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! :) Email:
thebird001@yahoo.com or biancagoodison@yahoo.com

GROUP CO-ORDINATORS

Carolyn Turnbull: Has indicated that she needs to take a temporary sabbatical; we will miss her and look forward to her joining us again, soon.

Yvonne Kidd: Yvonne, Karin, Ann Nel, Gail, Heather, Lynn and friends are all very busy with all the various projects. Gerald (my dad) has given me a whole lot of face cloths.

Doreen, family and friends:  Thanks for all the e-mail.  I’m now knitting Purple Hats and half way with a red/white baby jacket.

Hendrik Buda, Far East Rand Hospital: I received two offers per telephone from members of the Community, after the publication in the community newspaper, but up to so far, I have not received anything. Otherwise, we are alive and kicking at Far East Rand Hospital.
Rensche de Fortier:  Ek staan in vir Springs, as Koordineerder vir Verre Oosrand Hospitaal vir hul projek vir truitjies, kombersies, mussies, asook baba produkte vir die baba… ek oorweeg baie sterk om ‘n doeksak projek te begin vir dit.
CHARITY CRAFTERS / GROUPS

We are looking for charity crafters or groups in Dalton, Domerton, Empangeni, Kidd’s Beach/East London, Ladysmith, Germiston, Greytown, Ingwavuma, Kwa-Ngwanase, Nquthu, Pongola, Port Shepstone, Springs and Stanger to support hospitals on our list.

If you are interested in crafting individually or in groups, please, let us know!  If you have family, friends, internet friends, living in these areas who would like to get involved, please, ask them to contact me.  Alternatively looking for WA, WI or other charity crafting groups who would like to assist these hospitals.

Thank you for your support!

GENERAL 

Known membership as at Monday, 22 October 2012
Yahoo group        17
Google group       7
Ravelry group      386
Blog                       10
Flickr                     2
Facebook              141
               Total      563
Thank you, again, every one of you, known or unknown, for your efforts on behalf of the babies! 

Happy crafting / shopping,
Joy Coetzee – Founder: The Ruth Mailbag Group 

To send donated items: The Ruth Mailbag Group, FOR CHARITY – NO RETAIL VALUE, C/o Foto First, 180 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370, South Africa.  

Contact details: Fax 086 516 4618; Email joy.coetzee@gmail.com. 


FREE LISTING – HOSPITALS WHO NEED BABY FRIENDLY ITEMS: Please complete tear strip below and return to joy.coetzee@gmail.com or fax 086 516 4618 or mail to: The Ruth Mailbag Group, C/o Foto First, 180 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370. 

Name of hospital:
Address for donations:
     Postal:
     Street:
Name of staff liaison person who will receive donations and distribute:
Telephone number of staff liaison person:
Needs:
General:
Fax:
Email:
Web: 


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, rabookman276@gmail.com.  A huge variety of brand new top quality books at AMAZING PRICES!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

FREE CHRISTMAS PATTERNS TO KNIT & CROCHET


http://carewear.org/patterns/crochet/crochet.cfm?pid=_p29_santas_little.cfm
http://carewear.org/patterns/crochet/crochet.cfm?pid=_p29_silly.cfm
http://carewear.org/patterns/knit/knit.cfm?pid=_p13_seamless_santa.cfm
http://cecinatrix.blogspot.com/2008/12/christmas-boot-crochet.html
http://crochet.about.com/od/afghans/ss/patchwork-crochet-christmas-afghan.htm
http://crochet.about.com/od/scarves/ss/holiday-and-christmas-scarf-patterns_2.htm
http://dayna.tdgservices.com/ShowPattern.aspx?PatternID=14
http://jillmc.tripod.com/index-6.html (Ginger bread lady doll)
http://kodymayknits.blogspot.com/2007/09/christmas-simplistic-hat-pattern.html
http://krisknits.blogspot.com/2007/12/christmas-dishcloth-story.html
http://krisknits.blogspot.com/2007/12/that-one-last-gift.html
http://littlecottonrabbits.typepad.co.uk/free_knitting_patterns/2007/11/knitted-holly.html
http://ninasatmyhouse.blogspot.com/2009/11/merry-christmas-dishcloth-2009.html
http://ninasatmyhouse.blogspot.com/2010/10/christmas-dishcloth.html
http://slumberland.org/wp/2006/12/21/pattern-2-hour-santa-hat/
http://taras-knits.blogspot.com/2007/11/elfs-hat.html
http://taras-knits.blogspot.com/2007/11/kids-santa-hat.html
http://www.allfreeknitting.com/ChristmasKnits/Christmas-Gingerbread-Man-Dishcloth/ct/1#
http://www.allfreeknitting.com/ChristmasKnits/Christmas-Snowflake-Dishcloth/ct/1
http://www.allfreeknitting.com/ChristmasKnits/Christmas-Stocking-Dishcloth/ct/1
http://www.allfreeknitting.com/ChristmasKnits/Rudolph-Hat/ct/1
http://www.allfreeknitting.com/ChristmasKnits/Santa-Claus-Dishtowel/ct/1
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/auntbs-christmashat.html
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/auntbs-christmasstocking.html
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/christmassy-preemie-hat.html
http://www.carewear.org/patterns/crochet/crochet.cfm?pid=_p24_basic_hat2.cfm
http://www.carewear.org/patterns/crochet/crochet.cfm?pid=_p24_basic_hat3.cfm
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/snowman-hat.html
http://www.carewear.org/patterns/crochet/crochet.cfm?pid=_p24_basic_hat1.cfm
http://www.carewear.org/patterns/crochet/crochet.cfm?pid=_p29_hohoho.cfm
http://www.craftbits.com/project/adult-beanie-christmas-plum-pudding
http://www.craftbits.com/project/babushka-russian-doll-spring
http://www.craftbits.com/project/children-s-scarf-christmas-tree
http://www.craftbits.com/project/child-s-hat-christmas-elf
http://www.craftbits.com/project/child-s-hat-christmas-pudding-beanie
http://www.craftbits.com/project/christmas-tree-beanie
http://www.craftbits.com/project/elf-pixie-hat
http://www.craftbits.com/project/santa-shelf-sitter
http://www.craftbits.com/project/scarf-christmas-plum-pudding
http://www.craftown.com/knit/knit21.htm (Santa shelf doll)
http://www.creativecarissa.com/2007/11/christmas-tree-dishcloth.html
http://www.crochetkim.com/patterns/santa.html
http://www.crochetsal.com/mrsclaus.html
http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/jacobean/141/santamittens.html
http://www.freepatterns.com/detail.html?code=FK00164&cat_id=374
http://www.freepatterns.com/detail.html?code=FK00169&cat_id=374
http://www.freepatterns.com/detail.html?code=FK00171&cat_id=374
http://www.freepatterns.com/detail.html?code=FK00172&cat_id=374
http://www.freepatterns.com/detail.html?code=FK00173&cat_id=374
http://www.jeangreenhowe.com/patterns.html
http://www.knitpicks.com/patterns/Holiday_Elf_Pattern__D50948220.html
http://www.knitting-and.com/knitting/patterns/charts/chrissycharts.htm
http://www.knitting-and.com/knitting/patterns/charts/nativity-sweater-charts.htm
http://www.knitting-and.com/knitting/patterns/charts/santaclaus.htm
http://www.knittingdaily.com/media/p/14002.aspx
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/clothpetal.htm
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/hatcandycane.htm
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/holornhat.htm
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/holsantahat2.htm
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/holsantahat3.htm
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/holsantahat4.htm
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/holsantahat5.htm
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/holsantaorn.htm
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/holxmastreecloth.htm
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/motifcandycane.htm
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/motifsanta.htm
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/motifxmastree.htm
http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90144AD.html
http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/kctq-santaHat.html
http://www.marloscrochetcorner.com/xmas%20puff%20dish%20towel.html
http://www.p2designs.com/images/patterns/HolidaySet2006.html
http://www.p2designs.com/pdfs/EasyCrochetBooties.pdf
http://www.p2designs.com/pdfs/ElfinHat.pdf
http://www.p2designs.com/pdfs/HatTreeElfSox.pdf
http://www.p2designs.com/pdfs/hollydayshat.pdf
http://www.p2designs.com/pdfs/hollydayssox.pdf
http://www.piece-by-piece.net/Knit/knitted_elf_doll.htm
http://www.purplekittyyarns.com/afghan-patterns/christmas-star-afghan
http://www.purplekittyyarns.com/afghan-patterns/holiday-stripes-throw
http://www.purplekittyyarns.com/christmas-patterns/knit-santa-hat
http://www.purplekittyyarns.com/free-afghan-patterns/christmas-star-throw-and-pillow
http://www.purplekittyyarns.com/free-afghan-patterns/presents-crochet-throw
http://www.purplekittyyarns.com/free-afghan-patterns/tis-the-season-throw
http://www.purplekittyyarns.com/free-christmas-patterns/wr1936/jingle-bells-baby-hat
http://www.straw.com/cpy/patterns/Fling_CotChen_hats.html
http://www.straw.com/cpy/patterns/poof_hat.html
http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/huggems/christmastreedcphc.html

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

How you can help - November 2012


How you can help

JOIN THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP
there are many items you could donate to

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP

Christmas Presents for premature & newborn babies and their moms

Traditional Christmas colours are red, green & white

Closing date for this project – 1 Dec. 2012

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

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

New and good quality 2nd hand goods

All items donated are much appreciated

TO SEND DONATED ITEMS
THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP, “For charity – NO retail value”

C/O FOTO FIRST, 180 MURCHISON STREET, LADYSMITH 3370, S. AF

CAN YOU KNIT, CROCHET OR SEW?

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...

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR KINDNESS!


Fax 086 516 4618; Related link - http://theruthmailbaggroup.blogspot.com