Stars and Stripes Malta is an organization that, over the past year, has worked hard to make a mark in the Maltese and US areas of play. Admittedly relations between the United States and Malta have always been positive. The recent decisions by the United States to take hundreds of refugees who reside in Malta demonstrates beyond any doubt that this great country is sometimes more of a friend than other counties geographically closer to us.
One of the tasks that SASM has been involved in since its inception is to try to help materialize project requested by its members. Over the past year we were involved in projects to trace people who lived a century ago or more for our members, projects relating to education, projects relating to citizenship of both Maltese who wanted to get their US citizenship or Americans who wanted to get their Maltese citizenship. We even got a request by a member to help trace down basketball players of Maltese descent who live abroad. Even though we do not have a 100% success rate, we are satisfied that many of the projects we embarked on ran to fruition.
Besides these projects, SASM has become a hub that distributes relevant news and information to its members. Whenever I meet an acquaintance on our mailing list they always comment positively about our regular mailings. Many like the short and concise format of the news and everyone I have spoken to seems to agree with the frequency of the mailings which is set to an average of one every two weeks.
The two countries from where the majority of our members originate are Malta and the USA—we are called Stars and Stripes after all. Having said that, we now also have a decent following from Australia. Recently we began to communicate electronic publications produced by Maltese and those of Maltese descent living over there.
SASM is an organization by members for members and we want like to keep it that way. For example, the survey we are conducting amongst all members will give us direction as to what we should do to better serve our current and future members. Even after the survey comes to an end and the results are tallied we will still want your input and direction as to how we can be more effective.
In my previous paragraph I mentioned the phrase “members for members”. These three words sum up the most important ingredient to the success of an organization like ours. It is thanks to those who can spare a couple of hours researching the Internet for a school in New York that may want to pair up with an equivalent school on in Malta; calling a relative to inquire about basketball players; or who encourage us and suggest ways we can improve, that we can become better.
I would like to conclude by thanking the other SASM committee members: Louis Vella, Joe Meilak, John Mizzi and Joyce Grech who work as a team to make most of what SASM is in reality. Every one of these persons, in their own special way and with their own special abilities and skills, constitutes SASM’s main driving force.