George Clooney Celebrated by Italian Locals After He Helps with Flood Recovery Efforts: 'He Cares'
The Oscar winner has offered to help locals displaced by flooding near his vacation home in Lake Como
George Clooney is using his celebrity for good in an effort to help to his Italian neighbors.
After the area of Laglio near his Lake Como home was hit by flooding and landslides last week, the actor, 60, is being celebrated by his neighbors for taking time to tour the damaged areas and speak with locals about how he might be able to help with cleanup and rebuilding efforts. He also found some time to take photos with everyone who asked.
According to the Evening Standard, 60 local residents had to be evacuated due to the storm.
Local mayor Roberto Pozzi tells PEOPLE that Clooney, who is in Italy with wife Amal and twins Ella and Alexander, 4, "wanted to get a first hand idea of what was going on."
"He came over to the local city council on his own, by foot, and then together we went to see the landslide," Pozzi says. "He wanted to understand in person what had happened. He was very impacted by what he saw. He told us he would take some initiatives to help."
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Pozzi thinks The Tender Bar director wanted to show support and also raise awareness by making a personal appearance and taking photos with locals.
"His stopping to be photographed by people that asked him showed his commitment to supporting the recovery. It shows how keen he is, how interested he is in this area of which he has already been made an honorary citizen," says Pozzi. "It's pretty clear that after 20 years here in Laglio, he cares. If he weren't profoundly attached to the town he would have gone somewhere else. He is sincerely attached to this town."
Local resident and journalist Daniela Colombo also praised Clooney for getting "his feet firmly entrenched in the mud."
"He had his photo taken with anyone locally who asked him for a photo," explains Colombo. "He was really considerate as he realized this visit would give visibility to the natural disaster that had taken place, and would be of support to the area and to the people who had lost their homes in this disaster. It was really kind and generous of him to do this."
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In June, a source in the area told PEOPLE that Clooney and his family had returned to Lake Como after being away longer than usual.
"They didn't spend time in Lake Como last year. It's the first time in two years that they are back in Italy," the source said.
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