My Other Blog

What's a Wreck?

A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate - you name it. A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I'm not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.

Now, don't you have a photo you want to send me? ;)

- Jen

A [Gasp] GOOD CCC!?!

Well, obviously I don't mean a cupcake cake [patooie!]:

I still have a bone to pick with those.

No, I'm talking about the (drumroll, please)...

Christmas Charity Countdown!!

Or, if you don't like "Christmas," you could go with the...uh... Charitable Charity Countdown!!

Either way, it's a reason to smile...

...and pour a jar of sprinkles on your face.

Many of you remember this crazy thing I did last year, when John and I skipped gifts and decorations and instead donated to a different charity each day for two weeks. I asked you guys to recommend places to give, and invited you to join us by giving a single dollar each day to the featured charity.

But the really crazy thing is that a lot of you did.

Talk about the cherry on top!

Or the airbrushed pimple perched precariously on the perimeter, as the case may be.

The response was so great, in fact, that our little catch-the-spirit campaign helped hundreds and even thousands of people and animals in need. We were also flooded with e-mails & comments from you readers, telling us what a positive impact giving those dollars made on your lives, too.

I love it when a good plan comes together.

So this year, we're doing it again. Twelve days, twelve charities, and (hopefully) twelve of your hard-earned dollars.

This time each charity will be set up with either Paypal or First Giving, so you'll only have to enter all your information once, as opposed to twelve times. Most of you probably already have a Paypal account, and First Giving is a similar set-up (completely free to you to use) that only gives to charities.

Now, I know times are tough. I know many of you are out of work, or just scraping by. John and I lost our painting company because of the economy, and now rely on this blog to pay the bills. So, believe me, I know.

I also know that giving a dollar, and seeing that dollar combine with thousands of other people's dollars to feed the starving, heal the sick, rescue the needy, or just put a smile on a sick kid's face can be the key to a much more meaningful holiday this year.


It's a buck. Four quarters a day. Let's pool our pocket change and see what happens.

Only not in a "hey, why don't we smash these extra cinnamon buns together and make a big ol' green gaping maw of nastiness" kind of way:

The Bog of Eternal Stench gets "festive."

So, starting today, there will be a short addendum on each day's post listing the name of a charity, a one sentence summary of what they do, and a link to give. Give your dollar to those you like, and then spread the word! Talk to your kids about it. Maybe go volunteer somewhere. Bottom line: do whatever it takes to remind yourself that there's more to this season than shopping, annoying renditions of "Jingle Bells," and edible snowman crime scenes:

(Hawwwww PaTOOie!)

There must have been some magic to
that hundred gallon jug.
For when they dropped it on his head
he became an accent rug!

Many thanks to Victoria W., Holly G., Elizabeth S., Karen, Emily N., Claire G., & Amanda G., who prefer their door mats unfrosted.


Our kick-off charity is Give Kids the World, which provides children who have life-threatening conditions and their families absolutely *amazing*, dream-come-true vacations to the theme parks here in Orlando, Florida. (Check out the photo albums of the GKTW Village. It's awesome.)

Click here to give your dollar.

Clarification from john: Firstgiving doesn't work with PayPal. However, it is the only site that we found that allows people to give as little as a dollar and for us to track it. Plus, it's super easy to use. A couple of the charities will be set up with PayPal, though, and we will link to those pages when we have one. Thanks so much everyone. You guys are the best. -john

« Point of Reference | Main | Sunday Sweets: Oh, SNAP! »

Reader Comments (92)

When was the deadline for submitting charities? I donated what I could today and love you guys for coming up with the idea. There are so many worthy recipients, but the one I want to promote today is Zuma's Rescue Ranch in Colorado. They are a well-organized and totally legit horse rescue, but that isn't all. They have a well-educated and qualified staff to work with children in foster care and help them develop a bright future.

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterandrea

For any other international readers (go Australia!), I've found on the GKTW website that they do help kids from countries other than the US too. This pdf shows what countries they helped in 2009, and the total number they've helped from other countries worldwide. They team up with other wish giving organisations, like the Make A Wish Foundation, when kids say they want to go to the American theme parks.

They've only helped 42 Australian families, so I'm still deciding if I'll help them or another Australian charity in lieu, but at least they are open to families from around the world!

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I suggest the Central Asia Institute. They build schools and communities in rural Pakistan and much of Central Asia where people live in extreme poverty. Boys and girls get schools, women learn skills and are empowered, and people get much-needed medical assistance, farming equipment, etc. You can read more about it in the book "Three Cups of Tea".

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAgent Honeywell

I have two charities to suggest:

1. The Trevor Project: Their mission is to offer support to LBGT teenagers who are struggling with who they are. They mainly focus on suicide prevention and run a 24/7 emergency hotline for those who are contemplating suicide.

2. To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA): This organization's focus is to raise public awareness about depression and the various ways that people deal with this disease: addiction, self-injury, suicide etc. I know from experience that this organization helps because it helped my sister when she was cutting herself and when she contemplated suicide. They are not an emergency hotline, but they want to bring depression and its effects to public attention.

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke B

Hey, Analise,

I just Bought the horses a bag of apples :)

It's not much, but it's something I can do for them, and you.

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

This blog and Christmas is the only time I will associate warm fuzzies and CCC's...


Awesome job, happy glowy feelings abounding.


Is it just me, or are those Muppet eyes on the Flat Frosty?

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermladybright

Thank you so much or doing this. I wish I could donate a dollar for every time I've laughed out loud on this site!

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdee

What was that cupcake cake supposed to BE anyway?!?

Anywhoo, I LOVE the fact that you guys are doing this charity deal! Disney World is THE BEST place EVER for people with disabilities, allergies, anything. The children this helps should be donated Cake Wrecks T-shirts.


December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I love that you do this. I'd like to suggest Engineers Without Borders-USA. Local EWB-USA chapters plan and implement sustainable engineering solutions to support community driven programs worldwide.

The Ghana Project is an EWB-USA University of North Florida project. They project plans to mitigate water borne related illness and condition at the Tamale Children's Home by providing the home with a reliable source of potable water.

Also, any donations made between now and the 31st are matched, until the matching funds are used up. So you're $1 becomes $2 with $1.50 going to the project and $.50 going to EWB-USA.

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYota Armai

Oops. Used my real name instead of my witty Blogger name on the donation. I'll fix that next time.

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoctor Tarr

I almost asked last week if you were going to do this again this year. I'm so glad that you are.
And as long as we're making suggestions...I would like to again recommend HOPE for Louisville, which helps homeless persons, not only providing for immediate needs, but also job and life skills.

Thanks for all you do - and for teaching us the third verse to Frosty the Snowman! I'll be singing it all night.

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjillb-ilslp

This is such a wonderful idea, I will be sure to participate. We tend to do our charity in February, that is when the polar bear plunge happens around here. We jump into a frozen or (Actually we do it twice). It is a fund raiser for Missouri Special Olympics.

Freezin' for a Reason!

Yes our team is called the Nerdsicles .. this will be our 5th and 6th plunge!

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjoyce


I'd like you to consider featuring Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding in Rockford, MI - or

Equest offers therapeutic horseback riding for the handicapped. We serve a multitude of disabilites for ages 3+.

Nothing brightens my day like watching the riders reach new heights. Autism finds a voice by asking in a different way; the wheelchair bound find freedom at a trot. The blind learn unshakable trust. Some forever shed their crutches and walkers because of their horses.

I've given almost 20 years as a volunteer and I wouldn't trade that time for anything else.

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

Any way you could also post the AFR (annual fundraising rate, or the percentage of income that the charity spends exclusively on administration and fundraising and NOT going to the cause they support?)for each charity? Hate to be the bah humbug, but I like to know how funds are being used (I work in the nonprofit field, so this is familiar territory for me).

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna B

I was scrolling down, got to #3 & said "That looks like a CCC I submitted!" Ran around the house yelling for all to look at my 15 minutes of fame!! LOL. Thanks for making my day!! :)

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElisabeth S.

John and Jen- thanks for doing this! I've been religiously reading your blog for over a year now and absolutely love it! I laugh myself to tears! I'd like to recommend a charity... Hearts for Hearing in Oklahoma. My son was born profoundly deaf, and with their help, along with cochlear implants, can listen and talk. H4H provides life changing therapy and the best hearing aids available to children in need and are changing the lives of so many!their website is, and I wholeheartedly recommend them! Sarah Little,

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Little

I'm happy that you're doing the charity thing again....but I'm uber excited that you made a 'bog of eternal stench' reference!!!!

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBakin' and Bitchin'

Even if not there aren't enough days for it this year, I suggest Autism Speaks, a charity for people on the autism spectrum, a behavioral disorder that affects social abilities, and their families.

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlyn Pagenkopf

Thank you SO much for choosing Give Kids the World as one of your charities. My four year old son has a terminal disease. He is brave and he is a fighter, and it is such a gift that he is with us for one more Christmas this year. He had his Make A Wish as soon as he turned 2 1/2 (the minimum age) as we weren't sure how much time he had/how much quality of life he had left. He went to Disney to "meet Chip and Dale) and we stayed in GKTW. It was a truly magical time for all of us. My son got to get away from all of the scary medical stuff for a little while, and his brothers and sisters got to play and be children without worrying about their little brother. My husband and I made memories that will last a lifetime.

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I just want to say thank you SOOOO much for doing the charity days again. Really I am so excited to be part of it again this year!

I am also going to drop a charity name, Backpack Buddies. My cousin set this up and runs it and it really is an amazing cause. You can check it out at

She fills backpacks with food for kiddos so that they can eat at home, not just at school. She helps out over 300 kids, and could really use the support to grow her cause!

No matter what charity you all choose, I will be happy to share my $1 or more each day!

Take care!

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

@Dee, now there's an idea. If a dollar was raised for every laugh from every reader of this blog, can you imagine the fortune each year?

Great idea for supporting charities. I don't know that many American charities, but the United Way is always a great way to make such a difference in a community. Medicine Sans Frontiers, WaterCan, CARE, Red Cross-- so many great NGOs who work internationally (Red Cross will also help in a local disaster, of course). Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (and Ovarian Cancer Canada) have special meaning to my family, but helping any national organization that helps individuals and their families fight cancer and/or funds research sounds great to me. And is there a big literacy charity that works with underprivileged adults? That'll give the gift of being able to enjoy your blog-- and drastically improved employment opportunities.

I've just run our workplace campaign for my branch, so I've seen how individual contributions can REALLY add up. Now to figure out PayPal...

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAliza

Another long time reader, first time commenter! My funds are low this year but I will try to donate as much as possible!

I'd like to suggest Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, a fantastic organization that helps raise money for musicians in need. They recently helped out my cousin's band, Madina Lake, and their bassist Matthew Leone. Over the summer Matthew was nearly killed after trying to stop a man who was beating his wife. The man turned on Matthew, beat him, then left him on the street. Thanks to Sweet Relief and Through the Pain(, we have been able to at least make Matthew's enormous hospital bills a little less for him and his family. Not all musicians are well off with money, most struggle day to day but still manage to do what they love. Check them out!

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjuli

What on earth did those wreckerators do to that poor dalmation CCC? It looks like it got run over by a steam shovel 100000000 times and only a small lil plastic head survived the massacre lol. Scary but I kind of liked the green cinnamon role/wreath thing. I need some sweets bad lol.

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

Thank you again for supporting GKTW! My niece made her Make-A-Wish there, and seriously that place is amazing! :)

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteremedoodle

Since the international transfer fees would eat up a lot of my donation, I'm donating £2 to Make-a-Wish, who are one of the UK charities that send kids to GKTW via their JustGiving page. There's a list of these on the GKTW page if this is useful to other non-US people.

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusannah

Nice one with the charity drive! I don't have a specific charity to suggest, but as an international reader I'd be interested in seeing some money and attention go to a cause outside of the US.

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAinomaria

Aww what a sweet kid, and what awful CCC's

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

This is incredible. Hilariously funny and generous too.

I would like to suggest an organization for your consideration: The organization is the Coalition for the Advancement of Student Activities which sponsors the Student Leadership Training Program ( This organization is dedicated to empowering student leaders so that they can change the world. It is an entirely volunteer organization. The staff is committed to the program. It provides the cheapest overnight leadership experience for students in the country because it only charges for the costs and not any additional salaries, etc. I first attended when I was 13 years old. I was bullied in school and was having a hard time figuring out why to keep living. I attended this program and it changed my life. I am now 31 and still actively engaged as a staff member for this amazing program. 18 years later it is still changing my life and the lives of many students.

This is a great thing you're doing.

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

This is such a wonderful idea, and I'm so happy to be apart of it! I hope you don't mind [and I'm sure you don't], I posted this link to my facebook, inviting my friends to check it out and donate as well!
Merry CHRISTmas!

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly Alsperger

I am one of the lucky ones that gets to call GKTW their employer, but I'm also a long-time follower of CW! I have chills scrolling through these comments as well as the ones on your fundraising FirstGiving page. We are truly honored to be a part of this, and I'd like to share that I see the difference this money will make in these families' lives each day. Like so many others have said, it's all about giving these special families one week where they don't have to worry, where they can be normal and where they can make lasting memories that will inspire hope in their lives.

I thought I'd back up John on his comment about being charged a small fee anywhere where credit cards are used for fundraising. This is the case everywhere and actually, to my knowledge, FirstGiving has never charged us more than 4%, it's usually a 3-3.5% fee. I've also had to work closely with the FG staff in the past, and they are truly amazing and absolutely not out to carve into our hard-earned funds. Also, to answer Anna B's question...GKTW was recently ranked the #1 most fiscally responsible charity by "Worth" magazine because we maintain an extremely low admin rate of 7%. Of course, I encourage anyone planning a large donation to any organization to do some research beforehand.

What Jen & John are doing is phenomenal; just look how the spirit of giving has been shared on this first day! And there are 11 more to go! Almost $3k has been raised for GKTW so far, and most of that one dollar at a time. THANK YOU, thank you, thank you!

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKara D

While I'm not donating to your charities, you did prompt me to go donate to my favorite charity, Habitat for Humanity, so thank you!

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate Halleron

Crap. I WASN'T the first commenter.


December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

usdibgiwefguwsfviswcdiasbuIHVF UEFQIVNRT3QUIB hqeuifhp yuwfgeuhuihfe uiheu agjirejh, jdnfuiawfuhfu! spdihheuwiedu, ndfuiwafgp nsuofi hfuew p hew9qp?
-Ikierpjghvnhf G. Yjsdgfucui

TRANSLATION: Oh my goodnes THIS LOOKS AWESOME and so fun! Just one question, why does that blob say "success?"

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

This is such a great idea!! Love it!

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDana

Just in case you need charity ideas, may I recommend We Californians are fighting for the right to own the pets we love.

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. B

I highly suggest the Cleftline organization, especially their teddy bear program.

My son was born with Pierre Robbins sequence. He received a teddy when he had his cleft palate surgery and he loves his bear! It goes on every hospital trip! :)

December 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSelky

Haha, I loved your "Bog of Eternal Stench" reference! Love that movie! It's one of my favorites! And yes Cupcake cakes still are horrid!

December 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGirl who read all CW posts

Love your site!

We stayed at Give Kids the World 11/05, and are thankful that we were recently able to go back for a day visit. It is a magical place!!

I have fun desserts on my site, check it out, although, hopefully none are "worthy" of your posting :)

December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Chocolate Lady

I have reservations about Autism Speaks, and the way they percieve autism. Many in the autism community feel they're going about things the wrong way by looking at it as something needing a cure-it's viewed by most as a part of who we are, rather than something needing to be fixed.

I'd suggest seeing if there's a better autism charity out there to support.

As for one to consider, how about Operation Iraqi Children, which gives school supplies and other things to children in the middle east?

I also like Smile Train and Save our Soles.

December 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

The fact that the founder of GKTW is a Holocaust survivor and founder of several other charities just blows me away.

The sheer power of his good should be enough to remove at least a fair bit of evil from the world! If only...

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter15%Gratuity

How about this little cupcake cake?

I think its as cute as a button~

April 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

For another charity:
Human Life International
World Vision
Cook Children’s Hospital
St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
World Food Program
Project Ultrasound
Live Action
Red Cross
Toys for tots

October 28, 2017 | Unregistered Commentersparkle cake pop

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