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, 26 December 2013

January Project for 14 February - Valentine's Day

January Project for 14 February – Valentine’s Day


The Ruth Mailbag Group

We are collecting “Valentine’s Day” items for the babies. Please help.

Closing date – 1st Saturday in February

Please deliver / send to:

The Ruth Mailbag Group

“For charity – NO retail value”

C/o Foto First

27 Francis Road

Ladysmith, 3370

South Africa

Thank you, in anticipation!

Friday, 20 December 2013


Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 9:03 AM, Yvonne Kidd <>  wrote:   Foto First is moving. I apologise for the very short notice, but I wasn’t sure it would happen and now everything has gone so fast! We are moving to 27 Francis Road (opposite Pick n Pay, between Nashua and Christopher Park, under the big advertising board). I have made arrangements for any postal articles which will still be delivered here to be kept for us and I will collect from the new tenants until everyone has the new address. I am also opening a post box next year and will provide you with that address too.

 I am very sorry for the inconvenience of such short notice but I only signed the lease this morning!

Thanks, Yvonne Swart, Foto First Ladysmith




The Ruth Mailbag Group

“For Charity NO Retail Value”

C/o Foto First

27 Francis Road

3370 Ladysmith

South Africa


(((Yvonne, thank you for still being prepared to collect our goodies for us, you are a star and I do not know what we would do without your help and support.  Once again, thank you!!!)))

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Newsletter 12 of 2013



Dear Members and Friends,

No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another.

Thank-you very much for volunteering this past year at The Ruth Mailbag Group, every hour that you have spent crafting for our babies and their moms has been a blessing to us. I know your creations have brought many smiles to our moms.  We are grateful for your time, patience, and charity. We appreciate you!

Special thanks to all of the friends and members of The Ruth Mailbag Group for their time, encouragement, & enthusiasm for the work of this group.  Thank you to all who are reading this newsletter. The Ruth Mailbag Group is nothing without your enthusiasm, skills, caring, and dedication to helping those in need.  You make a difference in this world and I am proud to provide patterns, photos, articles, etc. to help you do that wonderful work.

It is because of active volunteers like you that we are able to run our group successfully.  Your contribution and participation would help us in the long run and during the upcoming holidays.  As the end of the year approaches, I want to send sincere thanks to everyone and best wishes for a happy holiday season.  Wishing all our volunteers happy holidays and Merry Christmas!

THANK YOU:  Ally Johnson, NSW; Ann Glendinning, Scotland; Annette Matthews, Pretoria/Malaysia; Annie Ryden, UK; Anonymous; Barbara and family, UK; Carol Bower and friends, UK; Chris Blake, UK; Christine Goggle and family, UK; Doreen Brits; Dr Marina Platts Gooch, UK; Ffion Wilkes, UK; Frances Labuschagne; Helen and Derlon Textile (Pty) Ltd; Ladies of the WA; Ladysmith Herald; Ladysmith Presbyterian Women’s Fellowship; Linda Boal, UK; Linda Mitchell and Mom, Scotland; Margaret Wood, UK; Marion Short, UK; Martina George, UK; Mrs Y Summerfield, England; Ms R Metcalf, UK; Ms Wilson, Scotland; Saprotex International; Sharon Rosen, UK; Sue Richardson Morley, UK and Wendy Hsiao.  (((Photos on facebook!!!)))


To Yvonne and Nico on their wedding day:  Wishing you all the best as you begin your new lives together.  God has so many more wonderful things in store for your future together.  (((Photo on facebook.)))


NEWCASTLE PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL (There are problems with postal deliveries; I recommend hand deliveries only, please.)
Address for donations:  4 Hospital Street, Newcastle, 2940
Name of staff liaison person: Sister Marlene Lubbe (Operational Manager-Nicu)
Telephone: 0343280003
Fax: 03431 23891
Email: (this email address will change, Mrs Buthelezi is retiring)
Needs: very low birth weight hats and booties

Oversight: Noel & Yvonne Robson
 Telephone & Fax: int’l +27 36 4222600; local 036 4222600
 Postal Address: Ikhaya Lethu, “For charity NO retail value”, P O Box 232, Colenso 3360, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa (Please use your good old post office!!!)
Needs: Babies to children 18 to 20 years of age


Sun, Dec 1, 2013 at 9:35 PM, Barbara <> wrote: I so enjoyed your latest newsletter and followed your instructions and made contact with Snoeks Desmond - an old Ladysmithian.   I must tell you we have had such fun this past week going down memory lane back to the 1960's and the people she knew, I knew and the places.   Such fun that I have even drawn Gil Richmond into the loop as Snoeks mentioned having lived in Ixopo and that is where Gil grew up.   We really live in a very small world.   Thank you for that - it brought such joy to my heart.   I do hope she has enjoyed it as much as I have.  God bless, and thank you for making this all possible.  With love, Barbara Higgs.  (((I do love it when a plan comes together!!!)))

Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 9:53 AM, Yvonne Kidd <> wrote: Thank you sooooo much for the best wishes and bottle of bubbly for our wedding on 7 December! I was really blessed and it was very special.

We have had a really good year as far as the collections go and have seen a huge increase in the donations on last year. It’s great to see more and more people get involved with charity work, especially for our little ones who do not ask to be born into such poor conditions. The donations received and the work those dedicated seamstresses and knitters and crocheters do really go a long way to making their lives more bearable and friendly.
May you all have a blessed and happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year!! Lots of love Yvonne Swart (Kidd)

Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 1:56 PM, Snoeks Desmond <> wrote: Beanies and Blankets for Babies - December 2013

This group was born at the beginning of November 2013 to help provide baby clothing and toiletries for those mothers at King Dinuzulu Hospital (formerly King George V) in Sydenham who might otherwise be taking their babies home in a towel or newspaper. In three wool shops we put up posters requesting donations of wool. Two of us had birthdays and asked for wool or baby clothes as gifts. We put out the word and how amazing it has been to see the response. Some of us were already knitters, making beanies and jerseys for young children but have been caught up in this new project and now focus on baby blankets and beanies and matinee jackets – swopping patterns and tips and wool. Those who don’t knit scour the shops for baby clothes.  Visitors to hotels and B&Bs collect up the toiletries. We are pleased to be affiliated to and inspired by the Ruth Mailbag group.

So far we have collected or made:
16 knitted or crocheted blankets
13 knitted jerseys, matinee jackets and Mother Theresa vests
102 beanies of all sizes from prems to teens
11 receiving blankets
52 vests/t shirts/babygros
14 face cloths and 2 towels and many jars of Vaseline and other toiletries.

We have made new friends and we are all having fun. Time now to start giving…  (((Photo on facebook.)))


Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 3:31 PM, Sharon <> wrote: Wishing you, your family and friends, and all the ladies and babies, one of the best Christmases ever and a great 2014.  Regards, Sharon


Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 6:42 AM, Bianca Birdsey, (Siyathemba, Durban) wrote: Thank you so much for the donations that were received from Gail on Saturday! So appreciate your continued support!  (((Photos on facebook.)))


Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 9:00 AM, Rosemary <> wrote: Thank you for arranging a delicious lunch on Saturday and the lovely gift bag of goodies!  (((Photos on facebook.)))

We have finally sold our house and are leaving Ladysmith.  I have a few things that I have completed and will deliver them to Foto First.  Send my regards to the group and will carry on with knitting for the babies, in Jefferies Bay.  I am sure that I will find some like minded women's group which I can make contact with.  Regarde Dianna Watts.  (((Leaving is not always easy but it has to be done sometimes. We wish you lots of success on your further way/retirement.)))


14 December 2013:  Gifted to the babies via Sr Kallideen at the Hospital, 225 vests and hats (sets) in assorted sizes and colours for distribution to the premature, new born and paediatrics patients.  Thank you to all who made this gifting possible, you are all stars and these little patients benefit from your generosity and kindness.  Thank you Barbara and Frances for helping me carry everything, your support is much appreciated.

8 December 2013:  Gifted to the babies via Dr Beharie at the Hospital, 100 vests and hats (sets) in assorted sizes and colours for distribution to the premature, new born and paediatrics patients.  Thank you to all who made this gifting possible, you are all stars and these little patients benefit from your generosity and kindness.

1 December 2013:  Gifted to the babies via Dr Beharie at the Hospital, 39 pairs of premature and new born scratch mitts, 200 vests in assosted sizes and colours and 225 beanies in assorted sizes and colours for distribution to the premature, new born and paediatrics patients.  Thank you to all who made this gifting possible, you are all stars and these little patients benefit from your generosity and care.

THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP ON DISPLAY:  Gail Rozendaal wrote:  Beacon Fellowship recently afforded us the opportunity to display some of the beautiful items which have been donated.  Information pamphlets were available as well as friendly people to spread the news of what this ministry is all about and to encourage more people to join.  Thank you to Karin Strauss and Yvonne Kidd for arranging the display.  (((Photos on facebook!!!)))

RECEIVED A THANK YOU CARD!!!  Vukuzakhe crèche Staff wrote:  To the Ruth Mailbag Group, Vukuzakhe crèche would like to thank you guys for everything that you have done for us.  God bless you.  May you see many more years.  From Vukuzakhe Staff.

Please plan your projects around the following days.  We shall continue to concentrate on items for the babies (premature and newborn).  Donate items such as baby clothing, new or gently used and handcrafted baby items, supplies for crocheting and knitting, like skeins of yarn, etc.

December for 1 January – New Year’s Day
January for 14 February – Valentine’s Day
February for 17 March – St Patrick’s Day
March for 20 April – Easter Sunday
April for 15 May – International Kangaroo Care Day
May for 9 June – World Wide Knit in Public Day
June for 18 July - Nelson Mandela Day
July for 9 August – National Women’s Day (Emphasis on Boarder Moms and their babies)
August for 12 September – International Crochet Day
September for November – Click for Babies / Purple hat project (Awareness of Shaken baby syndrome and Period of Purple Crying)
October for 17 November – World Prematurity Day
November for 25 December – Christmas Day

Please address all your post to:  The Ruth Mailbag Group, “No Commercial Value - For Charity Only”, C/o Foto First, 180 Murchison Street, Ladysmith 3370, RSA, (PLEASE USE YOUR GOOD OLD POST OFFICE!!!)

Thank you in advance for your support!

Yours in charity crafting,
Joy Coetzee
Founder - The Ruth Mailbag Group

CONTACT DETAILS: Fax 086 516 4618; Email

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Thursday, 12 December 2013