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 -

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Scratch Mitts for Preemies

SCRATCH MITTS FOR PREEMIES: Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 3:37 PM, <>  wrote: I wish to provide you with some feedback: We are using the mitts for the term babies and they have been a real big help. However they are too big for our preemies. If it is possible to get smaller sizes, half that of the current ones, then we could use them on our preemies as well. Thank you Joy and take care. Kind regards, Ansuya Beharie.  (((If you would like to make scratch mitts for the preemies you may like to look at this pattern unless you have a fail proof pattern of your own: Thank you in advance for your support!  Joy)))

Sunday, 1 September 2013




Please forward this newsletter to your online family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances! They'll appreciate your thoughtfulness and I will too! Thank you.


Welcome to all our new members and not so new members!!!


Pictures of items knitted by dedicated Ruth Mailbag Group volunteers can be found on our facebook page, please, visit us at:


THANK YOU:  A Turnbull, UK; African Reporter; Alex News; Allyson Johnson, Australia; Ann Glendinning, Scotland; Annie Wilkinson, France; Anonymous, UK; Barbara UK & family; Belinda van den Berg; Berea Mail; Carol Bower & Co, UK; Deborah Jackson, UK; Di Watts; Doreen Brits, family & friends; Ellie Weeber; Frances Labuschagne; Gereformeerde Kerk, Centurion; Germiston looklocal; Gerty Kotze; Gillian Herron, Mother & Mother in law; Girl Guides in Chester; Gwen Draffan, UK; H Jooste, Cresta; Inkanyezi School; Joan de Pindray; Judy Bryer, UK; Knit & Natter Group, UK; L Mitchell, Scotland; Ladysmith Baptist Church; Marian Short, UK; Marian, Gaynor & Gill, UK; Mariska & the Gideons; North Eastern Tribune; Sandton Chronicle; Springs Advertiser; Sue Richardson Morley, UK; Susan, UK; Susi Wakeman, Darlington; and Umvoti Light.




On Sun, Jul 28, 2013 at 9:03 AM, allyson johnson <> wrote: Thanks heaps for the newsletter, I really enjoy reading it and feeling more directly a part of the action.  ((Here is the next issue, trust you will find it interesting.  Joy)))


On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 10:44 AM, Desairee Maartens <> wrote: Thank you so much for giving up your time to hand over the washing machine.  This was a very special project for me personally.  I am also forwarding your mails to the MOTHWA’S who are the ladies side of the Moths and as we have just opened our Shellhole in this area we are going to be looking for projects to undertake.

May the Ruth Mailbag continue to grow and we are so blessed to have someone like you to oversee these projects. Regards, Desairee

(((You will remember that early in the year I started looking for somebody prepared to donate a washing machine to the local NICU, well thanks to Desairee, Bob and the MOTHS, the NICU has a beautiful new washing machine.  Thank you, Desairee, Bob and the MOTHS for your very generous donation!  Joy)))


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 8:00 AM, Camilla <>: Brief update on the NELSPRUIT area. I met with Rona of CANSA yesterday and gave her a whole lot of items for CANSA and also for the hospital project. Rona has a contact at Rob Ferreira called Eva. This means that we do have a contact at the local government hospital. She passes on all the items which our Church makes and she does not use for CANSA to Eva for the hospital patients. These can also be items for adults.
I am thrilled that in a small way, we can contribute towards your amazing project.
Blessings and love, Camilla  (((Bless you and thank you, please keep us posted!  Joy)))


Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 3:36 PM; Pamela Chadderton <> wrote: hello to everyone, settling into Pinetown now catching up with all the curtains that had to be shortened or lengthened or made. Settling into my new job and doing sewing for them as well. Bed covers for all the salon beds. I have been knitting, woollen hats, and trying to finish some baby grows. Will get them up to you via Durban Overall as their office in Pinetown is very close to me; pass it each day to work. Hope everyone is fine and working hard. Miss you all. Love, Pam (((Those who remember Pam, please write her at the above address, she will love hearing from you.  Joy)))


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 12:23 AM; allyson johnson <> wrote: Thank you so much for all you do for the needy babies and their moms in your area. You have to juggle so many balls at the same time and you do it so well.  Your blankets are beautiful and I don't think it is entirely serendipitous that your middle name is Adams. Morticia Addams would have loved the black trimmed one for either (or both) Pugsley and Wednesday Addams. (Movie the Addams Family). Pale pastels may appeal to the Caucasian eye, but perhaps our other sisters may not feel the same. At any rate, I'll bet the darker blankets fare much better in rural areas, with the difficulty of obtaining water at the twist of a wrist.  Thank you again for your hard work and for the deep love you show to those without.  Yours very sincerely, Allyson Johnson.  (((Bless you and thank you, my blankets have now been named the Addams Family blankets.  Joy)))

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 4:52 PM; Yvonne Kidd <> wrote: We have received many parcels from all over the world and it is a real blessing! Received a whole lot from Inkanyezi too the other day.  (((Bless you and thank you for all your help!  Joy)))

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 5:14 PM; Dlamini Thulisiwe <> wrote: I have received three boxes of baby clothes from Suzie and family. I am very thankful about the donation; definitely it will help the babies. INGWAVUMA still cold and chilly.  May God bless you all  for your good work, touching the lives of other people.  Regards, TJ  ((( Bless you and thank you, please keep us posted!  Joy)))

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 at 10:08 AM; <> wrote: 40 beanies & 40 pairs of booties to King Edward.  Total to date 110 beanies & 110 pairs of booties.  Kind Regards, Lenie.  (((Wonderful!  On behalf of all the babies a BIG thank you.  Please keep us posted.  Joy)))


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 8:41 AM; C+V SEIFERT <> wrote: Many thanks for your lovely note.  Love and Blessings to you too - HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY!  Camilla


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 9:07 AM; Gloria Bowler <> wrote: To The Ruth Mailbag Group and Friends, Happy Women’s Day! May God richly bless you as you continue serving Him in the manner that you do. Gloria Bowler

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 9:33 AM; Champagne Lane <> wrote: Right back at ja, Joy!!! Thank you. Kind Regards, Mary-Ann Wanliss

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 9:50 AM; Curves Ladysmith <> wrote: Thank you and the same to you hope you all have a very special Friday. Regards, Patti @ Curves.


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 9:59 AM; Ndlela Nontobeko <> Wrote: Thank you so much, happy Women’s Day to you, too.


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 11:19 AM; beryl mubanga <> wrote: Thank you... happy women's month to you, too. God bless you




Sunday, 28 July 2013: Just gifted 37 babies, 16 border moms and 4 KMC moms, thank you Fran for helping me carry everything.  Thank you to all who contributed in anyway.  Bless you and thank you, the moms were all delighted!!!

Saturday, 03 August 2013:

1.     Gifted to CHOC houses via Alta Scheepers, 50 children’s hats / beanies for the kiddies having chemo, board games and puzzles.  Thank you, to all who made this donation possible.

2.     Gifted to Di Williams’ crèches via Doreen Brits, 40 long-sleeved sweaters with thanks to Derlon and Helen, 40 vests and hats with thanks to Knit A Square and Ronda Lowrie, thank you for your support!

3.     Gifted to destitute mom via Barbara de Wet, 4 vests, hats, bootees in different sizes, one crochet blanket, one swaddling blanket, a cocoon and an assortment of toiletries for mom and baby, thank you, to all who made this donation possible.

4.     Gifted to Ikhaya Lethu at Colenso via Retha Fountain, assorted winter warmers for babies from 3 months to the teenagers, thank you, to all who made this donation possible.

Sunday, 04 August 2013: Gifted today – 26 newborn babies, 18 premature babies, (44 babies, 39 moms, several multiples today!) 18 boarder moms and 4 KMC moms, thank you, Barbara, Brenda and Frances for helping me with the gifting this afternoon.  Thank you, to all, who in anyway contributed to the packs this afternoon, all the moms were very grateful and the boarder moms look forward to our visits each week, they are subdued and quiet while we are in the room but the minute we close the door behind us and they are alone together it sounds like party time!!!  And that warm fuzzy feeling comes over us as we walk away to gift the other moms…

Sunday, 11 August 2013: Gifted today: 24 premature babies and 24 newborn babies (many multiples) = 48 babies!!!  Thank you Francis for helping me with the carrying and gifting of baby packs today; a very big thank you to everybody who in anyway contributed to this distribution; the moms were delighted and most appreciative; the staff friendly and helpful as always.

Saturday, 17 August 2013: Gifted to Walton Street Clinic, via Gil Richmond, for their Breastfeeding week, 100 vests and hats for the babies, thank you to all who made this donation possible.  Media release at this link:  Article posted on our facebook page.

Sunday, 18 August 2013: Gifted to 37 babies today with thanks to the Inkanyezi School for making this possible, your support is much appreciated.

Sunday, 25 August 2013: Gifted 14 newborn and 13 premature babies, Moms delighted with their gifts, the number of boarder moms has increased and a further park home has been opened to accommodate them.  Thank you to all who contributed in any way towards the packs.  Thank you, Barbara de Wet, Francis Thomson, Rosemary Earp Jones, Ronel Langley and Sue Watson for your help, carrying and gifting, what would I do without your help!  Once again, thank you to all who made this gifting possible, you have no idea how grateful the moms really are.  Bless you and thank you!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013: Gifted assorted clothes, blankets and wool to Sinethemba Shelter, Ifafa Beach, via Mo McAllister who wrote: I have become very involved with this shelter for abused women and children.  The stories we hear would break your heart.  The subsidy is small but donations do come in.  Woolworths is good sending food every Saturday.  Clothes are a problem as what people are given there they take with them if they get housed, so the turnover is big.
We take in all ages.  Two children have been here for 6 months as they are too old to adopt, we have a mother disowned by her family for having a baby – nappies in demand also used for our 3 old “gogos” that no one wants.
I am also getting a box ready for Father Christmas to bring with things for them to do as there are no occupational items here (a luxury).
So, bats, balls, rackets, books, games, crayons, balls of wool (we are knitting squares for blankets), needles, puzzles, pencils, paper, anything.
Looking forward to seeing you, Love to all, God bless, Mo
Contact: P O Box 87, Ifafa Beach, 4185; Lot 96, Horsley Lane, Ifafa Beach, 4185.  Tel 039 977 8220.  Fax 039 977 8220.  Cell 072 350 2980.  Email


Sunday, 01 September 2013: Gifted 7 premature and 16 new born babies.  Moms all delighted with their packs.  Quiet day on the ward with much lower numbers than we had grown to expect through August, bless you and thank you for your generous contributions that make these packs possible each week.


Thought you may find it interesting to know that we have in the first 6 months of the year gifted 409 new born babies and 273 premature babies which are a total 682 babies, at our local provincial hospital.  This is no small feat and you should each give yourselves a good pat on the back for any part you played in making that possible.



Blog                                         12
Facebook                                264
Google                                    15
Ravelry                                    387
Twitter                                    22
Yahoo                                     22
Known membership            722

Unknown membership       Is a mystery but we do know that there are many members who are not a part of our groups / forums who continue to work on their own or within groups for the moms and babies worldwide.  Bless you, each one of you for the mighty work you are doing!!!



Saturday, 03 August 2013: Thank you for a wonderful meeting!!!  We had enough wool for all, had a good chat about the goings on of our group, exciting show and tell of members donations and creations for the babies.  Particularly big group turned out today, always wonderful to have all the smiling faces sharing and caring.  The coffee and tea was good and frankly I was in need of sustenance by then (from all the talking and reporting back!)  Bless you and thank you for your continued support and never waning enthusiasm for our cause.


We have discussed this at every meeting since the interview took place in February and I didn’t have any further news beyond the submission of photographs as requested, however, I wrote to the magazine recently asking for information as Dominique’s email address was bouncing and on 26 August 2013 09:43 AM, Carlyn Wallace [] wrote: Unfortunately Dominique is no longer part of the Woman & Home team, so I’m forwarding your mail to our assistant editor, Kate Macfarlane, who will be able to help you.  Kind Regards, Carlyn Wallace, PA to Frith Thomas  (((As we go to “press” I have no further information to share.  Joy)))

SCRATCH MITTS FOR PREEMIES: Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 3:37 PM, <>  wrote: I wish to provide you with some feedback: We are using the mitts for the term babies and they have been a real big help. However they are too big for our preemies. If it is possible to get smaller sizes, half that of the current ones, then we could use them on our preemies as well. Thank you Joy and take care. Kind regards, Ansuya Beharie.  (((If you would like to make scratch mitts for the preemies you may like to look at this pattern unless you have a fail proof pattern of your own: Thank you in advance for your support!  Joy)))



A helping hand for moms – (((Nicely illustrates how we encourage communities to assist the moms and babies at their own government hospitals,  Joy))) -








Thank you in advance for your support!


Yours in charity crafting,
Joy Coetzee
The Ruth Mailbag Group


CONTACT DETAILS: Fax 086 516 4618; Email


RELATED LINKS:!forum/the-ruth-mailbag-

Please follow us at