Akzo Nobel was joined by a growing array of companies launching employee and corporate donation programs to assist those affected by the terrorist attacks. Akzo Nobel Chairman Cees van Lede issued a statement calling on "all our employees worldwide in this difficult hour to squarely stand behind our American colleagues and give them comfort wherever possible."

BASF Corp. announced that an employee-driven charitable fund established to assist the families of police, fire and emergency service workers lost in the terrorist attacks had surpassed the $1 million mark. The fund was established in the United States and has expanded to include BASF's global operations, with all employee donations matched by the company. BASF is the North American unit of Germany-based BASF AG.

"Our goal was to specifically designate the funds to aid the survivors of all the brave badged officers who perished in the disaster," said Peter Oakley, chairman and CEO of BASF Corp. "We believe that among all the tragic needs created by the events of Sept. 11, helping these families is the best thing that we can do."

The New Jersey-based Muralo Co. lent a helping hand to the recovery efforts in lower Manhattan with the donation of hundreds of plastic paint containers requested by emergency personnel involved in the massive task under way in the ruins of the World Trade Center. Muralo President James Norton said the collapse of the Trade Center towers could be witnessed from the company's parking lot across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Muralo is a unit of Norton & Son Inc., based in Bayonne, NJ.

Companies pledging assistance included Rohm and Haas Co.; Duron Inc; RPM's Bondo Corp. subsidiary; Wacker Silicones Corp.; and others.

In a message to the coatings industry included in an e-mail newsletter distributed by the National Paint & Coatings Association, NPCA President J. Andrew Doyle expressed his appreciation for the industry's response to the tragic effects of the terrorist attacks.

"Over the past week I have been heartened by the words of sympathy and support we have received from our international and U.S. colleagues," Doyle said. "In times like these it is very comforting to know that as an association and as a country we have such great friends.

"At the same time, all of us at NPCA mourn the loss of life at the World Trade Center and Pentagon. We also salute those brave men and women who fought with the hijackers to prevent further catastrophe and those who continue to search for survivors and aid in the recovery effort. Every single individual is a hero."

Doyle added that the industry faces "many challenges ahead" and pledged that the NPCA "has never been better prepared to help our members meet these challenges."