Panasonic Toyota Racing driver Jarno Trulli made an emotional visit to the Abruzzo region on Italy this week as part of his efforts to help those affected by last month's earthquake there.
As a native of the Abruzzo region, having been born and raised in Pescara, Jarno is raising money for the victims of the April 6 earthquake through his 'Abruzzo nel Cuore' (Abruzzo in the Heart) appeal.
On Wednesday Jarno paid a personal visit to Abruzzo, visiting first the small village of Onna, which lost 39 out of its 250 inhabitants when the 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck, where he met survivors who are now camping in tents alongside the ruins of their homes.
From there he moved on to the city of L'Aquila, which once boasted 99 churches and has a special significance in Roman Catholic history. Jarno visited a tented camp for 270 people - including 70 children - made homeless by the disaster and handed out Formula 1 souvenirs, signed autographs and posed for photos with the children.
Jarno said: "I was shocked to see the devastation firsthand; so many buildings have been destroyed and the effect on the people's lives is really terrible. I am doing my best to help in any way I can and everyone in Formula 1 has been very supportive. Hopefully we can raise a lot of money to help with reconstruction so the people of Abruzzo can return to a normal situation soon. They are in our hearts."
The 'Abruzzo nel Curoe' appeal has already raised more than Euro23,000 while several items of Formula 1 memorabilia have been donated by fellow drivers and these will be auctioned to raise further funds.