Our Story

This outreach looks for ways to extend God's love to our military and their families whether they are deployed across the globe or serving our country from a home base like Camp Pendleton. 


Since our beginning in 2009, Acts of Appreciation has grown exponentially from  serving 600 troops to over 7,900 troops, plus their families! This ministry exists to share God's love and our support with troops and their families. We owe them a special debt of gratitude because every freedom we enjoy today, including our right to worship freely, has been born and maintained on the backs of brave men and women who served over the centuries. They need to feel God's love in an experiential way through connections and, for this ministry, that means through His body, the church.


The demand for this ministry is great; there are literally thousands of troops currently deployed and their families face a variety of struggles including loneliness, isolation, depression, anxiety, divorce, and single-parenting while a spouse is deployed. Our troops experience all of these feelings plus the added stress evoking the responsibility of serving our country in dangerous situations and places. All of these  challenges, coupled with spiritual emptiness, create an atmosphere for the church to step in and care for these individuals as an expression of God's love. We have the awesome privilege of letting them know others care through all of our programs and events.


There are many ways Saddleback Church reaches out to the military. 

  • Sponsor chaplain events, such as  parenting workshops, 
  • Create Baby Moses Baskets, with baby gifts made by our Sewing and Crochet Teams
  • Provide monthly Coffee & Chat breakfasts for spouses and their children
  • Host a Christmas Blessings Toy Store with gifts for military kids
  • Bake sweet treats for our programs, serve pre-deployment breakfasts and welcome home events
  • Donate caregiver packs for loved ones visiting the wounded
  • Make and mail goody bags for deployed troops. Each year, thousands of goody bags are mailed overseas — each containing cards of encouragement, snacks, and  camo-designed Purpose Driven Life books and Bibles.

Unlike other Saddleback ministries, many of our events take place on a government installation interacting with government employees. In order to have a faith-based ministry at Camp Pendleton, we must be a member of the Para-chapel council on base and abide by established  rules. This additional step has allowed volunteers to trust God to work through any and all situations. Above all, we strive to be known as God’s people doing a God thing, rather than simply good people doing a good thing. The payoff has been priceless.


There are a variety of ways that volunteers can join our team and live out their purpose using their God-given personal gifts and talents to serve our military. God has formed an awesome team that has been instrumental in the growth of this ministry. The Lord continues to open doors for more exciting and meaningful chapters in the history of this ministry. We are excited to see what He will do next!

Get Involved

We look forward to hearing from you with any areas of interest you have or answer any questions after you get a chance to look at our website. If you’d like to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, please let us know. 


As our Pastor Rick Warren likes to say, “We are better together.” We’d love to have you on our team using your gifts and talents to serve the Lord and our troops! 


Many blessings, 

Diane Reece

Volunteer Leader

"Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven." ~ Matthew 5:16