Students Focus On International Disaster Relief in PSAid Contest

By Megan Johnson, Wright State University

Monetary donations to relief organizations prove the most effective way to help people after disasters — at least, that is the message surrounding the Public Service Announcements for International Disasters contest (PSAid). USAID’s Center for International Disaster Information (USAID CIDI) recently announced the winners of the 12th annual PSAid competition.

“For the past 12 years, the PSAid Contest has helped spread the message that monetary donations through relief organizations provide the greatest help to disaster survivors,” said Barlin Ali, USAID CIDI Diaspora and Donations Expert.

A panel of experts from the humanitarian and communications fields judged the contest, choosing winners from nearly 140 college students across the United States in categories including broadcast, print, and infographic PSAs.

Contest judges included Jonathan Adashek, Nissan Motor Corporation; Kevin Conroy, Global Giving; Nick Sugai, the Ad Council; Gary Goldhammer, Group SJR; Deborah Willig, InterAction; Marcia Wong, the International Committee of the Red Cross; and Keith Hempel, TV Access.

Winning PSAs will be distributed through broadcast and print outlets nationwide to convey the importance of practicing “Smart Compassion.”

Here are the winners, taken from this press release.


1. “Be the Change, Donate Cash” by Rachel Addington, Arizona State University
2. “Cash Fits All” by Bradley Parks, Shannon Sweatt, Megan Perkins and Raine Yip, The University of Alabama
3. “Donate Effectively” by Emma DeVane and Emily Pina, Arizona State University


1. “Cash Rebuilds” by Kaitlyn Olivier, Maria Castillo, Ludi Wang, Min Chen and Anna Kate Grosse, Boston University
2. “Cash is Convertible” by Ana Hernandez, Arizona State University
3. “Cash Keeps Your Donations Fresh” by Jordan Fonseca, Emily Hadfield, Nick Albanese and Daniel Arruda, The University of Rhode Island

Honorable Mentions: “Hope for Change” by Anne Miller, Loyola University Chicago, and “Cash is Best” by Sydni Alaniz, Arizona State University


1. “Make an Impact” by Lauren Schaecher, Arizona State University
2. “Donations are Nice, but Cash is Best” by Sacha Rady, Caroline Largey, Courtney Scarboro and Megan Purcell, The University of Alabama
3. “Cash is Key” by Haley-Ann Simpson, Ashley Stults, Cameron Craig and Emily Baker, The University of Alabama

Click to find out more about USAID CIDI and find current and past PSAid winners on the competition website.

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