How NH residents are helping with hurricane relief efforts for Puerto Rico

CONCORD, N.H. (WCAX) The lawn in front of the Statehouse in Concord, New Hampshire, was being put to good use Tuesday. Donated water and nonperishable food were packed onto pallets.

Alexandra Montanus of Manchester grew up on the Caribbean island of Curaçao and has friends and family in Puerto Rico.

"Oh, it is just very difficult to watch because there is... not enough help that can get there fast enough. And not everyone will be able to get it and that is something very upsetting," Montanus said.

About 120 state employees were given the option of volunteering their time and muscle to the relief effort. Morgan Dubie, who spent most of her day directing traffic, works for the state Agriculture Department.

"Just wanted to help," Dubie said. "Everyone has busy lives and I can't go to Puerto Rico, so this is what I can do."

The drive was organized with help from Volunteer NH. Hannah O'Connell is a member of AmeriCorps Vista and made the hour trip south from Enfield.

"I don't know anyone who needs the help but I do know that there are people who need it. And if I was them, I would want someone to come out and help," O'Connell said.

The pallets of food and water were loaded onto trucks by National Guard soldiers. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu also pitched in with donations and manpower. He spearheaded the call to action after getting a call from Puerto Rico's governor; both are MIT grads. The goal is 300 pallets.

"It is awesome. It is awesome," said Sununu, R-New Hampshire. "The fact that you have all these state employees here, you have folks from AmeriCorps, you have a variety of different groups all coming together with one mission."

The drive continues Wednesday. Transportation logistics are still being worked out but officials say they hope to get the products to the people in dire need in Puerto Rico in about a week.