CIDI Awards $30,000 in Cash Prizes for 2010 PSAid Winners

Apr 21, 2010, 09:22 ET from Center for International Disaster Information

Students compete in 5th annual contest to spread message that cash is the best way to help international disaster victims

WASHINGTON, April 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a year that has already seen several major international disasters, the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) announced today the winners of the 2010 PSAid: Public Service Announcements for International Disasters contest. The annual student competition asks student filmmakers and graphic designers from across the country to create broadcast and print public service announcements (PSAs) that demonstrate the importance of monetary donations in response to international disasters. In its 5th year, the PSAid contest saw a 42-percent increase in student participation, reflecting a growing nationwide commitment to appropriate disaster response.

"It is important to make sure that everyone knows that donating cash is the best way to help international disaster victims, and it's especially timely this year given the devastating earthquakes we've seen in Haiti, Chile and China," said Suzanne H. Brooks, Director of CIDI. "It is no coincidence that we saw our largest and most talented pool of entries to PSAid this year, as the momentum behind the 'cash is best' message continues to build."

The 2010 PSAid winners are:


  • First place, $12,000 cash prize: "Helping Hands" by Rika Endo, Jamie McElrath, Riyoko Iwamoto, Sebastian Perez and Florentina Perez of California Institute of the Arts
  • Second place, $5,000 cash prize: "A Walk Through Disaster" by Cat Tuong Bui, Alejandro Aguilar-Rudametkin, James Esparza and Alex Gaines of California Institute of the Arts
  • Third place, $3,000 cash prize: "Cash, the Best Way to Help" by Greg Liebig of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh


  • First place, $6,000 cash prize: "Give Him What He Needs" by Lauren Ruggeroli, Aleena Astorga, Shannon Timms, Joshua Belhumeur, Kristen Schissel, Lindsey Erlick and Carmen Lamadrid of the University of Arizona
  • Second place, $3,000 cash prize: "Disaster Relief Fund" by Allyson Dilsworth, Anna Jacoby, and Allison Milam of Boston University
  • Third place, $1,000 cash prize: "Cash is Best. Thank You" by Stephanie Ming, Otis College of Art and Design

Last week, five finalists in each category competed for public votes online.  The finalists were selected from approximately 70 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, Clifton Wiens of National Geographic and Stephan Bachenheimer of Deutsche Welle TV, 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 efficient and effective compared to donated goods, which can often be environmentally, culturally, or socially inappropriate.  Cash donations enable responding agencies to provide immediate relief to victims' most urgent needs following a disaster.  

Winners are awarded cash prizes totalling $30,000. In addition to cash prizes, the first-place winners in each category 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. The Center is funded by the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. 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. By reaching out to the American public and the private sector, CIDI helps to promote activities and donations that will do the most good for disaster victims around the world. For more information about CIDI and helping international victims, please visit

SOURCE Center for International Disaster Information