Get the latest delivered to your inbox
Privacy Policy

Now Reading

It’s More Important Than Ever To Recognize the Power of Donating Money To Support International Disaster Relief

USAID announces PSAid college contest winners

It’s More Important Than Ever To Recognize the Power of Donating Money To Support International Disaster Relief

USAID announces PSAid college contest winners

Published 05-02-24

Submitted by USAID

Static Image 1st place winner, by EL Mikkelsen, Arizona State University

May 2, 2024 /CSRwire/ - The USAID Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) and USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA) are proud to announce the winners of their annual PSAid contest, a public service announcement design competition for college students. Each year, participants are invited to create PSAs explaining why “Cash is Best” when donating to international disaster relief efforts. 

When disaster strikes internationally, Americans want to help. While well intentioned, most people are unaware that donating material goods can hinder relief efforts by creating logistical challenges and overwhelming local infrastructure. Monetary donations to trusted organizations working on the ground helps support international disaster relief efforts and makes a meaningful impact on the lives of those affected by these devastating events. 

The 2024 winning PSAs were selected from submissions received from universities and community colleges across the country in three categories: video, static image and GIFs. 

Congratulations to the 2024 PSAid contest winners: 


  • 1st: Cash is Best, Izie Figueroa, Arizona State University
  • 2nd: Cash is Fast, Emyli Hinojosa Rafael, Arizona State University
  • 3rd: Why is Cash Best?, Hyelim (Amy) Song, Arizona State University

Static Image:

  • 1st: Send Cash!, EL Mikkelsen, Arizona State University
  • 2nd: Unblocking Relief Efforts, Emma Klarin, Arizona State University
  • 3rd: Change is Magic, Sydnee Reed, Arizona State University


  • 1st: Global Chat, Natalie Clark, Arizona State University
  • 2nd: No Matter the Disaster, Alula Valdivia, Arizona State University
  • 3rd: Quick and in Quantity, Gabe Pante, Arizona State University

"Throughout this experience, I learned how valuable cash is during international disasters,” said Sydnee Reed of Arizona State University, third-place winner in the static image category. “I hope people see this and understand that needs are different in every situation, and the best way to make a change is to donate something that is universally valued.” 

A panel of experts from the fields of humanitarian assistance, communications and design served as volunteer judges: Oktay Dogramaci, former vice president of PayPal Giving, CTO and co-founder of MissionFish; Hillary Hoffower, editor and writer; Jeff Odom, director of digital marketing for IndyCar; Gretel Truong, producer; and Marcia Wong, deputy assistant to the administrator for USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance. 

USAID also invited the public to vote for their favorites in the People’s Choice contest. 

People’s Choice winners:

  • GIF: Finding Your Zen With Cash, Alliyah Zaragoza, Arizona State University
  • Static Image: The Pocket Sized Solution, Avery Cluff, Arizona State University
  • Video: One Solution, Cash is Best, Jasmine Lawson, Arizona State University

The winning PSAs will be used in CIDI’s “Cash is Best” outreach efforts. Previous winning PSAs have reached over 1 billion people and have been in more than 150 media markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta. Winning broadcast PSAs have appeared on streaming services, such as Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime. Winning static PSAs and GIFs have been featured in Forbes, Rolling Stone, The Boston Herald, and the Arizona Republic, to name a few publications. 

All winning entries can be viewed at


USAID CIDI was created in 1988 by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) 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 “Cash is Best” and helping international disaster survivors, please visit USAID CIDI at

Media Contact: 
Ariel Selzer White 
(713) 492-5627

Learn More

USAID logo



More from USAID

Join today and get the latest delivered to your inbox