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

Water Works

I got an e-mail this week that rocked my world.

Here's why:

This is a hand-dug well in the Sendedo Village, located in Tigray, Ethiopia. The village has about 200 people in it, and this well marks the first time they've had access to clean local drinking water. (In the past, the women and children walked up to two hours a day to collect their water, which was often polluted and would make them sick.)

"Ok," you're thinking, "that's nice. But what does it have to do with Cake Wrecks?"

I'll show you:

We did this, guys. You, me, and every single reader who contributed their dollar (or more) to our charity: water campaign during our 2009 Charity Countdown! Right now there's a well on the other side of the world because you guys sacrificed, gave, and refused to believe that your dollar was "just" a dollar.


Wait. Did I say "a" well?

Because I meant four wells.

You heard me: we wreckies completely funded two new wells, and partially funded two others.

And in true Wrecky fashion, they even misspelled our name on the second well: 

Woot! Cake Wreeks!

This is the Mai Minshik Village, also located in Tigray, Ethiopia. It has about 225 people living in it.


Oh, and the folks at charity: water included this note:

"You might be wondering why we put a photo of a door in your report. We include it because this village is serious about maintaining their project and keeping it clean. They built a fence and a door on their own accord, to keep animals out and to show ownership of their new water source."

The other two wells are located at the Tigray elementary school and the Tigray high school, and cost more than four times what the hand-dug wells cost - over $15,000 each - because they are drilled and include hand washing stations for the children and separate bathrooms for the girls and boys:

This isn't just about health and dignity, either; it's about helping the girls in particular get an education:

"Girls in developing countries miss up to a week of class each month, or even drop out of school, when they hit puberty because they don’t have a private place to use the bathroom or wash at school."

Together we gave over $3,200 towards the Adi Chigar Elementary School project, and over $2,600 toward the Slaw High School project. That means that, all together, we gave a total of $12,874 and helped nearly 1,600 people in this community have clean drinking water for life.

And I should mention that was just one day of our Countdown; charity: water was only one out of fourteen organizations that we featured.

Not bad for a group of snarky malcontents who like cake, eh?

You can hit the links above to see more photos of each project and learn more about each village and their well. You'll also find a list of the individual donors, if you'd like to see which project your dollar went towards.

And, in all seriousness, guys, I can't look at that first plaque without getting a little (ok, a lot) emotional. Thanks for letting me be a part of this with you.


We now return you to our regularly scheduled wreck-fest.


UPDATE: The lovely folks at chartity:water made us a video thank you card! Check it out:


Aww, thanks so much, guys! Hope the cake was yummy. ;)

« International Incidents | Main | Something's Afoot »

Reader Comments (219)

My favorite Cake Wreeks post ever!!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

That's amazing and totally awesome. Thanks so much for sharing that.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

This brought tears to my eyes and made my heart happy! How fantastic! And? You have to love the fact that they spelled the name wrong on the 2nd sign. lol Great job "Wreekies" on being the change you want to see in the world!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdpotsy

Wow. I'm a bit choked up. Wreckies rock!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterladycrim


August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternettybobetty

Way to make me cry. Geez.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrandi

AWESOME!!! That brought tears to my eyes as well!!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly L

Once again, You. Rock! You and John make the world a better place. Literally. I am proud to call myself a fan of all your work.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterToni

Fantastic! Please do the charities again this year.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Yup, I'm teary!! That's just so awesome!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Wooohooooo! We wreckerators rock!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Black Dog

Thank you for following up and finding out where the money went. I've been a part of building wells in India, and my field is international education, so everything in this project really touches my heart. There are so many obstacles to girls' education; I'm proud of us for removing one of those obstacles for the girls in those two communities. Way to go Wrekkies!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

That's amazing! Thank you for sharing the update. It's unbelievable that one snarky site can change so many people's lives like this - well done guys.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJayne

Best post ever! I have laughed until I cried on some posts, but this one just made me cry, tears of joy. What an awesome acheivement!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCake fell last night

Thanks so much--that made my day!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulie in Seattle

Totally. Awesome.

I think you should change your header to say "Cake Wreeks." :)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Wow. My eyes are really wet right now. Incredible. I missed my opportunity to give last time, can't wait until you do this again.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

Wow. That's just amazing. Mis-spelling and all, it's wonderful to see. Thanks for the update!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMadeleine Robins

This brought tears to my snarky malcontent eyes.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I'm sitting here holding back tears. Great work!!!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Wow! Make me cry. I wish I had been part of this. Sadly, I hadn't foun cake wrecks back then. Keep up the great work. I love to see the women empowered there! Awesome!!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMandieK

This post moved me to tears. Great job Cake Wreckers who participated. We found Cake Wrecks right after your finished the campaign but I second the challenge that you do this again. Our family would definately participate.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTraci

This is great! When will the next round of charities happen?
I didn't find you until last year & would love to participate in a similar project.
Love this site!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

@MandieK: Yeah, I know the feeling. Same with me. But you can bet I'll be a part of the next project. Want to join me?

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSaraCVT

Thank you for saying that $1 makes a difference! I've always said that giving something, however small the amount, is better than giving nothing at all. I never have much to give, but I always give what I can. Have you check out The Girl Effect?

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

How incredibly awesome!!!! I cannot wait to see what the rest of the fundraising accomplished.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAllie

This is just beautiful!!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy

How UPLIFTING is this!?!! Tears of happiness, especially for the girls! Something as simple as a tap with clean running water and a place to wash = dignity and an education. I'm in awe and deeply moved...

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLily in Labrador

Rock on, Wreckies.

Someone's kid LIVES because they have access to clean drinking water.
There's a mother somewhere in those villages who won't have to bury her babies because they drank contaminated water.
Kids get to have an education because of access to modern sanitation.
And WHO KNOWS what those kids will be capable of -- all because they could go to school and drink water and open doors to Who. Knows. What....Who knows if one of these kids might be the one to help solve even one of the world's problems.

THIS POST alone makes everything Jen and John have done worthwhile...and that Just One Dollar will now touch so many lives.

Kudos, kids...Blessings to all who gave.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLafee

Awww that just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside :D I gave to that group in honor of that little girl who died in a car wreck, Rachel :'(

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMINDY1

Awesome! Unintentionally humorous cakes have indirectly contributed to making the world a better place. :)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Awn, Jen, that is so awesome. So good to see these terrible cakes becoming such a nice thing, right? Congratulations on the site and everything! Lots of love from Brazil, Gabriel

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Cadete

And somewhere a kid is going to be named "Cake" in honor of the person who donated the well....

More awesomeness!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

Wow. Just Wow.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

Congratulations! Thank you so much for sharing what you and all the Cake Wreeks fans were able to accomplish. Who knew that enjoying ugly cakes could lead to world change.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

What a wonderful thing - and it took so little from each of us to do so much. Let's do this again this year!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPat

It might be because I'm pregnant but I'm in tears.
This is awesome and gives people even more incentive to give to the next charity event.
Well done.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMilz

This is the best news ever and has made a totally crappy day so much better! Way to go Cake Wreeks and all the wonderful people who donated!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJabby


August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Aww I wish I had known about this site back in '09 so I could have been a part of that. I will definitely check out that charity. This is awesome! Grats Wreekies! :)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShinkou79

hurrah! there's much rejoicing in the village! (our wreeky village, plus the actual villages helped!)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

This is amazing. I don't even know what to say except that you & all your wreekies rock beyond belief!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

That. Is. Awesome!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

What an amazing story!!! I only recently discovered Cake Wrecks and also hope you do the charity fundraiser again so I can participate too!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichala

Yay us!! Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to share. Ya'll help make the world a better place. It is wonderful to see how giving just a little bit by a caring group of slightly crazed lovers of cakewrecks is put to use!!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

Your posts have made me laugh, and now they've made me cry. Happy tears of course. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to come together and provide clean water for those in need. It's exactly what I needed today.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercyndidee

Awesome, amazing, wonderful!!! Just hope they didn't want sprinkles, we still don't have any:)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVanillaRice

Congraduletions! CakeWreeks, you roock! Seriously this is the most awesome post. Thanks for sharing.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Wowee! I'm all choked up just looking at that. I think I need a piece of cake.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

That third picture, of the second well, it looks spelled correctly to me.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMongol Hoarder

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