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)

What a wonderful testament that just $1 can make a difference. I'm so proud to be a "Wreekie." :)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermiss_paper

THANK YOU GUYS FOR GIVING US AN OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE!!! You are the diggity bomb in my book any day :) Nice choices of charities by the way.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKimberj

This is the first Cake 'Wreeks' post that has made me tear up! Love this so much!!! Do it again!!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBethany

That's incredible. Thank you guys so much for putting the opportunity to help out there for a bunch of grammar-crazed critics on the edge of a sugar coma.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKae

Water works, indeed! I'm sitting here all teary because I've seen African wells first-hand, and know how vital they are. This is such a huge step in improving quality of life. Thank you for making it happen!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuzG


My parents and I have decided that this year, we're not going to muck about with buying presents for each other; we're going to take the money we would have bought presents with and donate it to charity. When they suggested this to me, the very first thing I said was, "Oh my gosh you have to hear about this thing CW does every year!".

We still haven't decided exactly what we'll do, but I'm pushing for breaking that money up and taking part in your donation-fest this year. They each have their pet causes, though, and I'm thinking they may stick with just one. So it might be just me. But someone will be here. :D

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentershadow dancer

For everyone wanting to donate to this organization, please read this:

Then go here:

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJC

Love Love Love this! Make me proud to be a part of Cake Wreeks!! (and that typo is kinds priceless too! )

Love the kid drinking in the pic!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTeri

Wow!..Brilliant, you must be so proud you made this happen!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

That's fantastic! I wasn't a reader in 2009 so I didn't contribute to this but that makes me so proud of everyone that took the time to do so! Yay Cake Wreeks!! lol

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess

I have never shed a tear for a Cake Wrecks post before, but Jen, this IS AWESOME!! Love it.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

Water works indeed! I've got tears in my eyes. So wonderful what a community of people working together can accomplish no matter where in the world they live.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKGstar

This is totally awesome! And for the record, whenever they add smell capabilities to the Internet (ala Aroma-Vision) then I call dibs on "Cake Reeks"! I'm sure some of these cakes smell as bad as they look, right? ;-)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Cup a Dee Cakes

I thought nothing could beat yesterday, but this is just wonderful!.
If you see some strange woman all teary eyed at the Westchester Mall, say hi. It's me.
Good job everybody, I'm proud to (sort of) know you!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

That's so awesome Jen!! If I had been around here for that, I definitely would have helped out. Congratulations on a "Cake Wreeks" sign :D

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulie R

that is incredibly awesome - you should be so proud! Love the Cake Wreeks - how apropos!! :)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentervj

That is AMAZING!!
Thanks so much for the pictures and update... that is wonderful news that people have gotten help.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterme

SWEET!!!!! what are we doing next, Jen??? huh?? WHAT??? Let's do it again!!! yeah! you guys, we rock the world!! woot!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdnana

You made me cry. Good job, Wreckies!!! It's amazing what "just a dollar" can do.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersariah

Awesome! This is great work.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCJ

Not gonna lie, I got a little teary seeing the result of our united front. They say these are dark days but I look at this post and all I can see is the golden spirit of kindness and unification. Congratulations all!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiberty Belle

So cakewrecktacular! awesome! And you should thank them for coining a new term: cake wreeks, because, well actually some of the cakes you feature really are cakewreeks!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergabsmom

Thanks for going and ruining what was going to be a totally crappy day.....:)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramy r

Amazing and beautiful. Thank you for leading the way!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Hodge Smith

Awesome awesome! Inspiring and amazing!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

AWESOME!!!!! you will all be blessed for saving lives!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRosalba

I think the misspelling makes it all the better. Yay for Cake Wreeks and charity:water!! <3

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristie

How completely appropriate that they misspelled the name! I love this! You guys and your snarky malcontents are AWSUM! :)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermichelle

Well Done guys!!!, that is an awesome achievement, keep up the great work!!!!! xxxxxx

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAsta

Wow! This is wonderful! I didn't know about this site when you had the drive, but I'll help if you have another!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLori

WOW! This is AWESOME! Will you be raising more money for this charity? If so I would like to contribute.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarinewifesc

Rock and roll! I somehow missed the announcement this time but I will definitely donate when the next drive starts. Also, I found a site that donates to this charity (or others, whatever floats your boat) every time you search using their engine. Here's the link for that:

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterwhitney

AWESOME! I always knew cake would make the world a better place.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjoanie

Brilliant, you guys rock!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterViviana

Yay Cake Wrecks!

It happens that Charity: Water is celebrating their 5th anniversary as an organization.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEG

Halp! There's something in my eyes.
Yes, both at the same time.
That's not sobbing, I'm coughing.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEileenbeans

Best. Post. Ever.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFluffy Cow

WTG Cake Wrecks - While only an occasional viewr, as an RN and also a volunteer in multiple organizations, I am both impressed and greatful for the example you and your readers have done.

God bless, Paul

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

This post had me crying. Snarky malcontents, indeed.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

This is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing this!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

Amazing - so nice to be able to see pictures of the people helped. Looking forward to helping this year!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Fantastic guys!!!!!!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelle

LOVE IT!!! Go Cake WREEKS!!!!!!!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Johns

Oh, Cake Wreeks, you made me teary!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNIkki

Well now isn't that great? I'm crying at my desk and I have to go into a meeting.
Seriously, such good work.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia C.

I "found" you on facebook about 6 or 8 months ago, so didn't participate in this, but I'm so proud of those that did, and so excited for the people who have fresh drinking water now. We forget that the things we take for granted here are luxuries in other places in out world. God Bless everyone who contributed!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

So totally cool!! Just shows how $1 times many people can make a tremendous difference in someones life.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKATHRYN

damn me for not following your blog then I wish I had been a reader and could
have contributed!!!! lets do another one!!!!!!!!!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjenzizcool

Amazing! I'm verklempt. I've just started reading this blog (I'm late to everything!), and am super duper hoping that you'll do something like this again!

Sidenote: Your post about threadcakes made me immediately go buy the Doctor Hoo tshirt for my boyfriend, who is obsessed with that show. And he just got his PhD, so it's even more fitting. Thanks!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLexi

Thank you for letting us know the fantastic results of our "little" donations.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanet B

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