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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA team wins PSAid competition

A team of seven UA students won the fifth annual PSAid: Public Service Announcements for International Disasters. The contest, sponsored by the Center for International Disaster Information, was held last week.

Students created public service announcements that show the importance of giving cash donations to international relief efforts in lieu of food or clothing donations.

As UA’s winning ad explains, “”When you make material donations (such as food & clothes) to disaster relief efforts, you are taking a chance on what victims need at the cost of sorting, storing, shipping, and distributing the items.””

Contest participants designed either print or broadcast public service announcements. The team from the UA won the print portion of the competition.   

Approximately 70 entries from colleges and universities around the country were considered this year, a 42 percent increase from last year. A panel of judges narrowed the field down to the top five entries in both categories. Then 10 days of public voting determined the winners from the judges’ selections.

Contestants and organizers credited the rapid rise in participation to the recent high-profile natural disasters.

“”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, Center for International Disaster Information director. “”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.””

All participating students from the winning team are enrolled in a class taught by UA adjunct instructor Ed Ackerley. He informed the students of the opportunity to compete.

“”The competition was a great opportunity to exercise creativity and approach a project from a pure creative stance, which isn’t something you get to do often in an academic setting,”” said Joshua Belhumeur, a marketing senior and contest participant.

Belhumeur, along with fellow UA students Lauren Ruggeroli, Aleena Astorga, Shannon Timms, Kristen Schissel, Lindsey Erlick and Carmen Lamadrid, won the $6,000 first place prize for their entry entitled “”Give Him What He Needs,”” which shows a small child holding a bright blue high-heeled shoe. According to Belhumeur, the entry was meant to show how some donations, though well meant, might be impractical for international relief efforts.

“”The point of the competition is to communicate a message that during, disaster relief efforts, cash is the best method of donation,”” Belhumeur said. “”We wanted to create an ad that showed in this in a productive and real manner.””

The winning public service announcement will be used as part of a public campaign to educate the public on appropriate donations in times of crisis.

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