BRO – St. Louis,


5,000 St. Louis area children-in-need will receive holiday toys and gifts from the BRO. We are always looking for new and used toys, book, dolls, stuffed animals and stocking stuffers for children ages newborn- 10 years of age.  We work with St. Louis area social service agencies to provide these items for their clients and families.

We are located at 4262 Cleveland Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110, in the lower level of the Presbytery of Giddings Lovejoy on Tower Grove Ave, across from the Missouri Botanical Garden.

We are open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 AM – 2 PM. We are closed most holidays. Contact us by phone at 314-865-1677 or via email at

June 17 Flood Damages Toys

wet toys

(Photo shows wet toys in process of sorting)

June 17, 2013 much of the St. Louis area was hit by 3 inches of rain in 1 hour. The BRO had a storage rental unit on Landsdowne near Kingshighway which was flooded with about 8 inches of water during this weather event. Water poured into the area, which sat below street level. The street and storage unit drainage system was unable to handle the volume of rain, and the water quickly rose to be chest high. Many of you may have seen the videos and photos of flooded streets in South St. Louis. Our storage unit took on about 8 inches of water. The unit sat on a slab of concrete about 4 inches high and inside the unit the toys were stacked on wooden skids. We lost about one-third of the toys that we had stored there.

dry toys

(Photo shows dry toys sorted onto tables)

The storage unit manager originally informed unit renters that Metropolitan Sewer District was taking responsibility for the flooding in the units. I informed MSD via email that we had experienced a loss at our location. In a letter dated June 20, 2013 MSD states:

“In response to your call, a crew from the Maintenance Department of Metropolitan Sewer District inspected the main sewer serving the above address (4677 Lansdowne). The report states that the main line was overcharged due to the amount of rain we received. An overcharged condition occurs when Water infiltrates into the main sewer system. Corporate Claims Management (CCNI), MSD’s claim company, will contact you to file a claim for any damages you may have incurred.”

build a bears

(damaged toys)

In phone conversations with both MSD and CCMI, it was indicated that we would be covered for up to $2400 in damages, which included damages to the goods stored and the cost of cleanup, including the value of your own time if you performed the cleanup yourself. Needless to say this sounded really good.


(damaged toys)

In the meantime we documented the damaged toys in photographs, listed each item or groups of items, listed their retail value and filed the claim, along with 31 photos. Shortly thereafter I received a call from a CCMI representative saying that we were in fact not covered and that the damage was not due to an overcharged sewer. They were polite and complimentary about my detailed claim but gave an unclear explanation as to who or what was responsible. It may have been the fault of the drainage system at the storage unit, but they didn’t want to come out and say that specifically. CCMI or MSD is supposed to be sending me documentation about why our claim is being denied.

As of August 8, we have not received that documentation.

disc shooters

(damaged toys)

We are estimating that the damaged toys were worth $2,000 – $3,000. In our claim to MSD we valued the toys at $1892. We estimated between 40 and 50 cleanup hours by our volunteers.

The value of the time it took to “hunt and gather” the toys, label, pack, and move to storage originally: priceless.

Short You Tube Video of BRO Storage Unit after we first opened it.


Read the rest of the story here, about how we destroyed the toys, help received from a mission team from First Presbyterian Church, Topeka, Kansas, and our hopes for the future.

BRO Special Report Click here to see our newsletter telling the whole story


We’ll need help to recover to be ready for the holidays. We plan on giving out toys to 5,000 children. Your donation of new and gently used toys are always welcome. We also can use stuffed animals, games, puzzles, and books. We are confident we will be ready for 2013 and move forward into 2014.

Thank you for your consideration.