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‘Cash is Best’ Message Wins in PSAid’s Collegiate Competition for International Disaster Relief Awareness
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‘Cash is Best’ Message Wins in PSAid’s Collegiate Competition for International Disaster Relief Awareness

2019 student award winners announced

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The USAID Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) is
pleased to announce the winners of the 14th annual Public
Service Announcements for International Disasters contest

PSAid is a nationwide contest that calls on college students across the
country to submit public service announcement (PSA) entries that
demonstrate why monetary donations are the most effective way to support
international disaster relief. Through the contest, students learn
donation best practices and help convey why “Cash Is Best” in helping
aid groups respond to disasters that occur internationally.

“This project educated me. I didn’t understand the importance of
monetary donations before I started,” said Areia Worden, first place
winner in the digital image category. “The ability to now be able to
educate others by utilizing my passions for design feels rewarding and

The 2019 PSAid


  1. “Donate
    Smart, Fast. Donate Cash”
    by Sofia Ruescas, St. Mary’s University
  2. “Why
    Cash is Best”
    by Claudia Forero and Alexandra Estrella, Arizona
    State University
  3. “Anything,
    Anywhere, Anytime”
    by Lisa Trahin, Arizona State University


  1. “Be
    The Change”
    by Olivia Cardinale, Loyola University Chicago
  2. “Cash
    is Best”
    by Sarah Hermosillo, Arizona State University
  3. “Moneybag”
    by Riley Padua, Arizona State University

Digital Image

  1. “Let
    those in need decide”
    by Areia Worden, Arizona State University
  2. “Change
    Your Perspective”
    by Allie McGuffin, Arizona State University
  3. “Green
    is the New Black”
    by Donghyun Yi, Fashion Institute of Technology

“Disasters happen fast, and that’s why it’s important to show what is
the fastest and efficient way to help,” said Lisa Trahin, third place
winner in the video category. “In my video, I show how cash can travel
in more ways than one without leaving a big carbon footprint.”

This year’s winning entries were selected from 112 submissions chosen
from a pool of submissions from 167 college students in the categories
of video, print and digital image PSAs. Universities played a key role
in PSAid, with many professors incorporating the contest into their
curricula and a number of classrooms participating in webinars with CIDI
staff. The winning PSAs could be featured in prominent magazines or
aired during popular television programs, and will be used in CIDI’s
Cash is Best education efforts.

The 2019 contest entries were judged by a panel of experts from the
humanitarian and communications fields. This year’s judges were Carol
Chan, Acting Director, USAID’s
Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
; Jeff Joseph,
President, Software
& Information Industry Association
; Lara McDougall Reed,
President, Pan
Galactic Digital
; Erin Taylor, Director of Communications for
Humanitarian Response, Save
the Children
; and Kim Van Syoc, Executive Director, Banfield

The winning entries may be viewed on the contest website at


USAID CIDI was created in 1988 by the United States Agency for
International Development Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance to
inform the public about the advantages of giving monetary donations to
relief organizations and warn about the risks of donating unsolicited
material goods. Through its “cash is best” messaging, CIDI’s goal is to
support donors and relief agencies as they work to provide quick,
effective and efficient relief to people affected by disasters. CIDI
provides donations guidance to individuals, groups, embassies,
businesses and corporations. For more information about USAID CIDI and
helping international disaster survivors, please visit USAID CIDI at


Challee Stefani, (202) 944-5143,

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