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)

I am also welling up...

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterzingsarah

I'm new to Cake Wrecks.... are you still accepting donations? I'd love to be part of this.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmie

Fan-freakin-tastic! Proud to be a Wreeky :)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

So fantastic! Reading about this had me weeping, and the comment from Lafee actually gave me chills. (I didn't know one could experience chills of joy, but there you go.)
Just so beautiful.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterzoomom

wow. well done.
sorry i clearly have not been paying better attention to all your efforts ...


August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercindy goldberg

Crying. Very happily crying.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLois Groat

That's fantastic!!! Usually I'm crying because I'm laughing so hard but now I'm crying because of the compassion and humanity of it all.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterItsklr

What a wonderful post! Giving to various charities is always a good thing, especially ones like this one. What is really nice is when you get to see what your money actually did. It makes you feel like you didn't waste your one dollar (or however much).

Thank you for sharing!!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Congratulaions on such a humbling accomplishment! I hope to be a part of your next drive. Wreck on!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersusanb

I've long had the feeling that even $1 CAN make a difference. This proves it. Thank you for letting us see this wonderful result!

Typed with blurry vision... but they're happy tears!

This brought tears to my eyes, a common occurrence for this site, only this time I wasn't laughing.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrisdmek

This is awesome!! charity:water is so very productive in their drive to make a difference & I've been pleased to contribute my share in their venture. Yay you guys!!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertanja

Thank you for posting this. I remember contributing so long ago around Christmas. Very sweet to see the results.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterannie

Amazing guys, amazing! Kudos!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

This just makes my heart super happy!! And is it just me, or when you say "Cake Wreeks" out loud you suddenly have an Australian accent? Just me? Oh, ok.
Awesome work, truly! I can't wait to be a part of the charities this year!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElisabeth

Yay!! :) Glad to be able to see what "Cake Wreeks" has done for these people!!

ROFL @Nancy - probably more than one kid will be named "Cake" in honor of the sponsor!! :P

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranony mouse

@Nancy, how funny and true. and their sister will be called Wreeks. i live in africa and we've known plenty of folk named 'caltex', 'mobil' etc. once even a 'coca cola'. so welcome wreekies to our world!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjill

Crying now! This is wonderful, thanks so much for sharing. I hope you'll be asking us to part with our dollars again soon, because I'm ready!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLesley Wright

SO EXCITING! And the fact that it says "Cake Wreeks" is just the, well, icing on the cake!!!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

So. Freaking. Cool. Good job, you guys. :)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMay

Great work, Wreckies! Um, make that Wreekies!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGary

Thanks for the a time when I feel so impotent to affect change in the world (but I am an optimist on this point), for I'm just a small speck of sand in the vast sea of humanity (I have neither the voice, nor the money, nor the body, as I'm disabled), that maybe we can make a difference..

Now back to the fezzes...fezzes are cool...or wait was that bow-ties or Stetsons? Oh, and I want 12 jammie dodgers and maps to Florida;-D

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNerdgirljenn

That's a very prefessional sign there for Cake Wreeks.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBubbawheat

One word: AWESOME! Made my day, which Cakewrecks often does, though for entirely different reasons today. <3

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterwinsomebulldog

I'm so proud of you right now. I received my tax receipt for one dollar from the water folks and didn't think much of it. Thanks for being a giver. And thanks for the update.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy K.

How 'bout we bump the stakes up to TWO dollars? You know, about half the cost of bottled water at say, a sporting event or concert. . . After seeing the pictures, I'm kind of embarrassed that I only donated a buck. . . even though I knew that ever dollar counts. . .

I think I can call my own buck, and make it two.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

...not to mention women who will no longer be sexually assaulted on a daily basis during their treks back and forth to get water. This is awesome, guys. Made me cry too.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbuffy

wow, im crying!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertiny p. elephant

I clearly have something in my eyes; they appear to be leaking! I am o proud to be a part of this, and completely overwhelmed by the thought that due to having a bathroom, girls will be able to stay in school and get and education. That blows my tiny little mind!


August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJester

What a wonderful gift for you and your fans to give. I'm another wreeckie who didn't find your site until 2010. I too hope that you will spearhead another effort to build another (our four) well(s).

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatiKat

It seems that $12,000 is not be so very difficult a sum to find in our wonderfully blessed country. Our school district spends that much on gas driving our high school teams to away games. I'd happily give my tax dollars for one well per month.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentervandalfan

freakin' awesome

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Anne

This is great. I'm so proud of you guys.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonique

FANTASTIC! I have never commented here, but have enjoyed many a chuckle.
I wanted to congratulate you and all the reader/contributors that helped you make this happen! A proud moment indeed!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBumblesnbees

Wow, I'm teary-eyed too! So proud to have been a part of that - this year I'm giving more than $1. For real.

And I laughed out loud at Cake Wreeks!!! YES!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoni

Congrats Cake Wrecks! I had to post this on my Facebook page and share with everyone. Great job!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStone House Cakes

That is so totally awesome! Yay! Amazing. :)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMimiheart

Having donated to that day ... I'm sooo sooo touched to see the sign ... and how well we all did .. four wells! That's amazing!! AWwwwwwwwwwwwww

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFignie

Wow, just Wow, Ive been away for a while missed the whole drive but man if you have another one I'm in. Way to go guys.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercaferacer

This is awesome. So so Awesome!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

That is awesome! Way to go Cake Wrecks! Or, should I say Cake Wreeks?

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDawn Arnold

I had no idea you did this. This is wonderful! Hauling water is one of the worst things a child can do; especially for girls, as it stunts their growth. This tradition of over-working and under-feeding little girls results in small women who are at an increased risk of obstetrical fistula. If you're looking to add another very worthy charity that literally changes the lives of women and children in many countries in Africa, check out The Fistula Foundation:

I'll keep my eyes open for your next fundraiser; please make sure there's an easy way for Canadians to donate. :)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjudy

Cake Wreeks. *snort* Great work!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCJ

Sooooo proud to be a part of this. This part of the world is suffering unimaginable famine right now and I feel like I've done something to help. God Bless you for your vision, Jen!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPixanne

*standing ovation* Let's do it again!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnon y. Mouse

Awesome!!! Please do it again!!! Cake Wreeks rocks!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

What a wonderful post. My husband and I adopted our son from Ethiopia 2.5 years ago. We were truly humbled by the beautiful people there, kind and generous. The poverty we saw was astonishing, and of course there is no welfare, food banks, or government aid of any kind. Most people are illiterate, being unable to afford the small fees charged for school. These wells are amazing, and the fact that they are assissting girls by removing the endless walking for water and giving them bathroom and washroom facilities is so wonderful. Thank you so much for the post! My husband and I have made donations to such projects a part of our Christmas celebrations, giving and requesting donations from other family members instead of more "stuff". So nice to see the aid going to the people who need it!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLesley B.

What a great thing to do! I'm a home baker and a couple of times a year I make 'charity cupcakes' and donate all of the profits...It's usually not a ton of money - but it's great to know that even the smallest amount can make such a big impact! I'm looking forward to 4 weeks of Charity CupCakes in October during breast cancer awareness month, and in April for Autism Awareness. Thanks for being such an inspiration - and such a great source of comic relief during slow work days when I have a chance to scroll through some 'caking' disasters.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPattyCakesbyTray

Had you guys heard about this charity:water story:

Nine year old Rachael raised part of her charity: water goal for her birthday, however she died shortly after. Now her page has raised over a million dollars and it's been on all the major news outlets.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdrea916

I've been reading Cake Wrecks for over a year, but I've never commented until now. Your posts have made me laugh, scratch my head, sigh, and do more than a few double-takes, but I haven't cried until today. Thank you for posting this! It made my week, and I can't wait to donate this year! Great job, Wreckies!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

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