CIDI Awards $10,500 in Cash Prizes to 2011 PSAid Winners

Apr 21, 2011, 10:35 ET from Center for International Disaster Information

Students develop creative PSAs to explain why monetary donations are the best way to help after international disasters

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) today announced the winners of the 2011 PSAid: Public Service Announcements for International Disasters competition. The annual student contest asks students from across the country to create radio and print public service announcements (PSAs) that demonstrate the importance of monetary donations in response to international disasters. In its 6th year, the PSAid competition gained entries from leading programs nationwide.  

"We want to satisfy the public's hunger to maximize their support of relief operations after international disasters. The students did a great job of explaining that to do good in the right way means making monetary contributions to credible, established relief agencies," said Juanita M. Rilling, Director of CIDI. "I'm thrilled that all PSAid competitors understood this message and conveyed it so clearly, particularly as the world continues to reach out to those affected by unimaginable disasters in recent months."

The 2011 PSAid winners are:


  • First place, $3,000 prize: "Cash Is Best to Help Disaster Victims" by Kyle Egna of SUNY Plattsburgh
  • Second place, $1,500 prize: "Roving Reporter Paul" by James Switser of SUNY Plattsburgh
  • Third place, $750 prize: "Show That You Care PSA" by Valerie Ashline of SUNY Plattsburgh


  • First place, $3,000 prize: "Be The Change" by Katherine Smith, Ashley Hyne and Natalie Nelson of the University of Arizona
  • Second place, $1,500 prize: "Different Words…Same Meaning" by Rachel Steingard of Arizona State University
  • Third place, $750 prize: "Make Your Donation Matter" by Amanda Markell, Brian Olson and Katie Johnsen of Arizona State University

Last week, five finalists in each category competed for public votes online.  The finalists were selected from approximately 60 entries received from students at colleges and universities nationwide. Winners were chosen based on the combined input from both the public vote and an esteemed panel of judges, which included Paul Katz of Commit Media, as well as representatives from CIDI and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The winning PSAs will be used to educate the public about appropriate donations following international disasters. It is widely recognized that cash donations, rather than in-kind donations, are the most efficient and effective way to help international disaster victims, a policy supported throughout the disaster response community. Cash donations are much better than donated goods which can often be environmentally, culturally, or socially inappropriate.  Monetary contributions to credible, established relief agencies already on the ground in affected areas enable people in need of critical support to receive it as quickly and efficiently as possible.  

Winners are awarded cash prizes totaling $10,500. In addition to cash prizes, the winners may have his or her PSA distributed nationally. The winners, and all entries, can be viewed on the contest website at

About CIDI

CIDI is based in Washington, D.C. and was created in 1988 to educate Americans about the best way to help after international disasters. CIDI provides individuals, groups, embassies and corporations with information and guidance in support of appropriate international disaster relief efforts. The organization works with a variety of partners to channel the public's energy and desire to help to achieve maximum impact.  CIDI helps to promote activities and donations that will do the most good for disaster victims around the world. The Center is funded by the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. For more information about CIDI and helping international disaster victims, please visit

SOURCE Center for International Disaster Information