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. ;)

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Reader Comments (219)

Thanks for making my otherwise truly awful day so much better-- now I think I'll be able to sleep tonight after all!

August 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjj


August 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoana

Like another poster, I gave to charity:water in honor of Rachel's 9th birthday. What an fantastic organization. I love how they document the result of your contribution.

Jen and John, you are awesome and I am proud to be part of the CW and Epbot community!

August 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSara


August 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarielle

You guys are amazing! Great work with this, you are great people.

August 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

I found you right after the "12 days of..." 2009. So when the "12 days of..." 2010 rolled around and I had no idea what to give my sister-in-law, I found the perfect solution. I donated $1 a day in her name, and reorganized them so they all fit in the "12 days of Christmas" and presented her with the restructured song. She loved it, and I was so happy to be able to participate in this (hopefully continuing) tradition!

I am so happy about all the support and enthusiasm that these donation drives receive. And although I couldn't participate at the time, I am happy to see the positive effects.

August 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterelecblueis

Awesome!!!! :)

August 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Congratulations you guys! I didn't contribute last year, but you bet I will this year. Great cause and so nice to see the results as well. (oh, terrible pun). Good work.

August 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterphysicsmom

Moved to tears. Wow, just... WOW. Proud to be a friend and fan of this group!

August 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKay Carrasco

I wasn't able to keep up with cake wrecks for the last week or so. But on catching up, I read this post and just wanted you to know that it was my best birthday present ever!

August 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda J-H

I'm behind on my blog reading and just saw this post. I am a loyal reader but very rarely comment. I just had a chime in to say that this brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for bringing this great idea to the CW community. I'm proud to have done my small part to help provide these wells.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShayne

Ah, man...usually my tears caused by this site are from laughter - not so much today. Thank you for doing this. Thank you for sharing this. And thank you from the bottom of my soul for giving those girls a chance to feel pride.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeg K

I have tears in my eyes over this! I could barely read the post to hubby, I was tearing up so bad.

Thank you for sharing these pics and the story. The clean water charities are my favorites, and I am proud to have been a part of the giving fest that created all this good!

Cake for all! Cake and water! Yay!

August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJinx

I got the email as well and thought, WOW I've never donated money and received follow up before! What an AMAZING charity! I'm glad our dollars went that far!

And I can't wait until this 12 Days of Christmas charity drive again! Cake Wreekies UNITE!

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBryna

I'm guessing you've see this already. But maybe not.

September 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

I love Cake Wrecks year round, but the charity campaign is my favorite part of the year. Thanks for sharing what we were able to do together, and please keep it up!

September 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Happy tears right now, that is so wonderful. Good work wreckies

September 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterColleen

This post made me choke up! So much better than choking on a piece of a wrecky cake!

September 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlittle lovables

I've been quietly going through your site, page by page, laughing like crazy at some of the pics, tilting my head and squinting at some, and wondering what is wrong with our world at the rest. This post brought tears to my eyes. You guys are awesome for doing this, and when I see something like this, it restores some of my mostly-shattered faith in humanity. Thank you for doing this, and if I can and you do it again this year, I would love to be apart of this. You guys are amazing!

September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshes

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