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, 30 June 2013

Christmas in July

How you can help

there are many items you could donate to

Christmas in July

Closing date for this project – 1st Saturday in August

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

Toiletries and bed socks for boarder moms

New, handmade and good quality 2nd hand goods

All items donated are much appreciated

Traditional colours are red, green and white!!!

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 email address so I can let you know they have arrived...

Fax 086 516 4618

Monday, 10 June 2013

Special Appeal – Baby Blankets!!!

Special Appeal – Baby Blankets!!!

“Baby it is cold outside” and getting colder and colder...  we urgently need baby blankets for the babies born at the local State hospital...  these moms and their babies come mostly from informal settlements where the accommodation is probably a shack, cold, draughty and leaks.  Please help us warm these babies NOW!  Our stock of blankets is depleted and there is still a while to go before the seasons change.  Please send your blankets, bought, knitted, crocheted, sewn, loomed, second hand good quality... to: The Ruth Mailbag Group, “For charity, NOT for sale”, C/o Foto First, 180 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370.
Thank you, for helping the babies of our community!!!

Monday, 3 June 2013



On behalf of The Ruth Mailbag Group, I would like to thank you for your generous donation. Your contribution makes it possible for us to continue to gift the destitute moms and babies at our government hospitals.

Since its inception 11 years ago, The Ruth Mailbag Group has worked to provide basic baby friendly items for the destitute moms and babies born at our government hospitals. This year, we have continued to gift the moms most weekends and those baby packs have grown from a single outfit to two or three outfits. This is only possible because of thoughtful contributions from people like you.

In 2013, we plan to continue our efforts for the moms and babies nationally. As you know, the need does not go away. We hope for your continued support in the future.

Once again, thank you for your generous donation.

THANK YOU!!! ‘Sonflower’ Ladysmith, Allyson Johnson, NSW, Australia, Anonymous, Barbara, UK and family, Berea Mail, Boksburg Advertiser. Carol Bower, Knit and Natter, Harworth, Clair Brind, East Sussex, UK, Colleen Raciborska, Derlon Textile (Pty) Ltd, Doreen Brits, family and friends, Doreen Wissing and group, Eileen Gibbons, Ellie Weeber, Frances Labuschagne, Gail Rozendaal, Germiston City News, Gerty, Gwen Draffen, Sheffield, England, Janet Mill, Jean Tweddle, Harrogate, England, Jill Clark, Sussex, England, Linda Mitchell, Royal Mail, Looklocal Boksburg, Lynn Murrel and Malaga Group, Gamillas de Albaida, Spain, Mabel Raciborska, Marj Heron, Moot Rekord, Pamela Chadderton, Reta Fountain, Rosemary Earp Jones, Springs Advertiser, Staff and Customers, Woodhill Pharmacy, Glasgow, Scotland, WA Ladysmith, YOU / Huisgenoot / Drum, Yvonne Summerfield, England and all other publications and organisations who have supported us without making us aware of their assistance.



On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 5:29 PM, Rosemary <> wrote: Thanks for your e-mail with No.3 of your newsletter.  I have made one crochet blanket and am busy on another.  Regards, Rosemary Earp Jones


On Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 12:16 AM, <> wrote:  I read your article in the Germiston City News a couple of weeks ago, regarding premature babies, and the collection of items you are doing for the babies during kangaroo care awareness week.
My son was born at 35 weeks, and although, thank God he was strong and healthy, he still spent 2 weeks in the neonatal ICU before he could come home.
I used to drive to the hospital everyday and practised kangaroo care with him, and you could see the difference it made, and how he almost looked forward to it- I know I did!
Conner is 3 now, and is strong, fit and healthy! You'd never say he'd been premature! I strongly endorse kangaroo care to moms of prem babies! It really does do the world of good, it’s an amazing bonding experience, and it really helped my feelings of inadequacy as a new mom not even being able to pick up and cuddle my baby or have him in the hospital room with me after he was born.
I was going through the last of his and his younger sister's baby things (she was born at 40 weeks!) and found 3 white knitted baby blankets, and I wondered if you'd be interested in them towards your collection of babies things? If you would, please let me know as I'd love to donate them to a valuable cause, and we can arrange to get them to you!  Kind regards, Erica Hirtz


On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 12:45 PM, Doreen Brits <> wrote: I am kept on the run with the fete being Saturday and the meeting!  Crochet 2 jackets, knitted 2, finished the 2 blankets and knitted more booties.  Trust everybody will enjoy the day off tomorrow (Workers Day).  Blessings to all.

On Thu, May 9, 2013 at 1:30 PM, Vashnee Chetty <> wrote:
Unfortunately I only saw the article in the sentinel paper today. My twins were born at Groote Schuur hospital 8 weeks prem almost 3 years ago.
Due to the amazing and loving care we received, our boys are healthy and strong.
KMC is the most amazing concept and my partner and I always want to help families and mothers of prem babies.
I am almost certain I still have some clothes packed away and blankets. Is it too late to make a donation?  Regards, Vashnee Chetty. {The answer was a resounding NO, it is never too late!!!}

I also had email from persons who had read the article in Tabletalk.

On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 9:45 AM, Linda Mitchell <> wrote:

I Have posted a package by Airmail to you containing 25 vest and hat sets....I hope they will be of use to you!
My mum, who is nearly 92, has been given a new lease of life since I persuaded her to start knitting again.....she just loves it.
My sisters and I have been knitting blankets, vests and sleeping bags and we are trying to find addresses to send them to.   I found Ruth's Mailbag and hence the parcel winging its way to you.
She has become quite obsessed with her knitting......she hadn't knitted for about 20 years.     She feels that her fingers, which became bent after a bout of shingles, are now much straighter and her arms are stronger, so it's a win win situation for everyone.  Take care, Linda Mitchell


On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 3:53 PM, Doreen Brits <> wrote:

Hi, kept busy with the knitting....knitted 2 blankets (still need to do the edging on both!) and knitted 2 medium size matinee jackets. Saturday I bought wool for a cardigan, still deciding on the patterns, as requested, Aran Knit. To all, enjoy your crafting, I know I do.  Blessings, Doreen


On Tue, May 28, 2013 at 11:07 AM, Sarah Maria Kuipers <> wrote: Hoop dit is nie al koud by julle nie hier in Pretoria is die weer eintlik baie lekker ek kan nie glo ek het so koud gekry in die Vrystaat nie.

Ons groep kom weer more bymekaar en dan sal ons weet wat elkeen gedoen het Die dame wat gewoonlik my pakkies gaan aflaai was in ʼn motor ongeluk maar ons vertrou dat Jesus haar spoedig sal genees. Ek loop op die oomblik met ʼn kierie en is moeilik om so ver te loop by Steve Biko maar Lanie is my oë en ore op die oomblik daar by die hospitaal. Ek wil more hoor watter dames wil graag saam my gaan as ons die pakkies gaan aflewer.

Ek moet se die goed wat ek ontvang het, is van familie en hulle vriende en ek het ʼn redelik voorraad wat ek nou net broekies kort maar as die nood druk gaan ek die komberse truie musse en kousies aflewer Dit is beter as niks. Dankie vir Allyson sy het gesê sy stuur die pakkie vir Danville en dan sal ek en Marthie dit gaan af lewer ek sal more by haar hoor of die pakkie nog nie hier is nie maar ek is so opgewonde vir die geleentheid om dit vir hulle te gaan aflewer met die liefde wat Allyson dit gebrei en gestuur het

Verder gaan ons groep mooi aan ek verstaan ons is more agt dames wat by mekaar gaan kom so ek glo die Here sal ook in hulle harte werk om ons hande styf vas te hou en ons te help

Baie liefde in  Christus, Sarah - “Amor for prem, Aids and Cancer baby's” (affiliated to The Ruth Mailbag Group)




Sunday, 28 April 2013:  Gifted today to 6 premature & 23 newborn babies and 20 boarder moms; moms all appreciative and chatty, staff very busy.  Thank you to all who contributed in any way to these packs.  Your support is much appreciated!

Sunday, 05 May 2013: Gifted to 23 newborn, 12 premature babies and 12 boarder moms; the moms all very appreciative and delighted with the packs for the babies and for themselves.  The staff very helpful; the senior sister in NICU stopped me to thank me for what we do for the babies.  We are making a difference and it is being noticed!!!  I found the twins that I met last week still in Kangaroo care; today they were wearing their little outfits and wrapped in their tiny blankets gifted to them last week, mother was thrilled to receive another pack for each twin today, couldn’t thank me enough.  To all whom in any way contributed to these packs a great BIG bless you and thank you!!!

Sunday, 12 May 2013: Gifted on Mother’s Day – 24 newborn, 17 premature babies, 17 boarder moms and 28 nurses for Nurses Day 2013.  Everybody friendly, helpful and very grateful.   Thank you, Pamela Chadderton, for the help.  Thank you to all who contributed in any way towards these gifts, your support is very much appreciated!!!

Sunday, 19 May 2013: Gifted to 19 premature & 18 newborn babies and 11 boarder moms; thank you, Francis Thomson, for helping me carry all my bags and with the gifting.  To anybody who in any way contributed to these baby packs, bless you and thank you, for making this all possible, you are all stars!!!

Thursday, 23 May 2013: Gifted to little burn victim, beautiful knitted blanket, floppy eared bunny, bath mitt, soap, bed socks and matching beanie. Thank you journalist, Sam, for playing courier for us and to all who contributed to this pack, bless you and thank you!!!  Read article here:


Sunday, 2 June 2013: Gifted to 12 premature, 22 new born babies and 11 boarder moms, everybody very grateful and cheerful, to all who contributed to these packages, bless you and thank you for making these visits possible.  Taking this opportunity to remind you that winter is upon us and blankets are a high priority item at this time of the year.  Once again, thank you for your support!!!




On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 8:07 AM, Mzelemu Mthandeni <> wrote: I would like to inform you that I am no longer working at Itshelejuba hospital. So for any information or request please contact Fikile Simelane, acting PRO. Email – Thank you, Mthandeni Mzelemu.


Tambo Memorial Hospital, Private Bag X2, BOKSBURG 1460
Tel No: 898-8311; Fax No: 892-0358
Can you kindly remove our hospital name from your correspondence
Thank you,




Wednesday, 01 May 2013: Thank you, to the ladies of the WA, for inviting me to their meeting this morning and for giving me a turn to speak about The Ruth Mailbag Group babies and moms.  They have promised us their continued support and pledged their assistance with our collection of toiletry items for the boarder moms.  Many thanks to you for your hospitality and ongoing support!!!

Saturday, 11 May 2013:  Thank you, to the ladies of “Sonflower”, for inviting me to their meeting and for giving me the opportunity to speak about The Ruth Mailbag Group babies and moms.  They have promised their support and the first packages arrived on Sunday morning.  Many thanks to you for your hospitality and support!!!

On Wed, May 15, 2013 at 11:50 AM, Kim Arendse <> wrote:

We’d like to feature the beanie project in You and Huisgenoot magazines...  Thanks, Kim.  How exciting is that!!!  It was published in the issue of 30 May (also in Drum).  Thank you for your support! 


On Sun, May 26, 2013 at 5:28 PM, Bev Qualheim <> wrote: Good morning Joy!  I don't have it quite the way I want yet, but just to let you know, all your hospitals that listed specific items needed, are on this page now.... there are some weird unknown origin purple lines, plus I will add South Africa to the addy of each one and maybe tweak it a bit more, -- can't even get the letters larger--I guess cos I copied and pasted from your word doc... but for now, it's there! :)  Bless you and thank you for your support!!!



Saturday, 04 May 2013 and Saturday, 01 June 2013: Thank you, for a wonderful meeting.  I never cease to be amazed at the great items you make for our needy.  Bless you for your support!  The show and tell was awesome with some ladies having gone to great lengths to interpret the Freedom Day project in items made of the colours of the South African flag.  There was enough wool to go round and will keep us all busy until we meet again in August.  Thank you for the social chatter over coffee and tea it is always invigorating and although we may not solve the world’s problems we do have a great time trying…  Until we meet again, Happy charity crafting!!!


Reminder!  THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP MEETINGS, 1st Saturday of the month, February through December, 14h00 – 16h00, Juana Maria Home, Francis Road, Ladysmith, KZN.  Thank you, Juana Maria, for your hospitality!  Bring your charity knitting, crocheting, & sewing; any yarn and or patterns to swap, etc.  January - in recess!  See you there!!!


Kindly note that there will be no meeting in July, however, we will get together again in August and I look forward to seeing you all there!!!


Thank you, Bev Qualheim, for the following interesting articles especially for charity crafters:




This information is provided as advance warning of projects that will be coming up; this is especially for our overseas members:

Appeal for Basic Toiletry Items, bed socks, etc for Boarder Moms

June – Nelson Mandela Day for the Babies & World Wide Knit in Public Day - the South African equivalent of the Make a Difference Day abroad

July – Christmas in July for the Babies (items with a Christmas feel, colours, etc.)

August – Spring Day for the Babies (items remembering spring is in the air.)

September – September Babies (may be a continuation of the spring theme.)

October – Prematurity Awareness Month (to concentrate on prem items from 1 kg and upwards)

November – Christmas presents for babies and moms

December – New Year Babies – Presents for babies and moms


World Wide Knit in Public Day, South Africa, Ladysmith. Hosted by The Ruth Mailbag Group. Location: Juana Maria Home, Francis Road. Time 14:00 - 16:00. Date: June 8, 2013. Please bring: Your own or your charity knitting, snacks and drinks (to share with the residents!!!) This KIP is not knitting exclusive. There are free bathrooms available.




Some items you may like to refer to on The Ruth Mailbag Group blog:


Thank you in advance for your support!


Yours in charity crafting,

Joy Coetzee


The Ruth Mailbag Group


CONTACT DETAILS: Fax 086 516 4618; Email