What is Books From Brek?

Books from Brek collects, processes and distributes quality new and gently used children’s books to significantly increase book ownership among at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout the Champaign/Urbana area. This nonprofit was created in memory of Brek Neiswender who at a very young age loved books so much.


Books From Brek and Crisis Nursery

Books from Brek donates hundreds of books to Crisis Nursery every quarter. Books are divided into bags by age appropriate reading levels. Each bag is filled with 4 to 5 gently used and/or new books. The Nursery gifts Books from Brek bags to children who visit the Nursery to take home. Our Family Specialists also deliver them to families participating in our Paving Pathways program.

This past year, Crisis Nursery handed out 271 Books from Brek bags to 139 families in Champaign County, providing a critical resource for continued early childhood development and family engagement. During the holidays, our Family Specialists made surprise visits and dropped off Books from Brek bags with Curtis Orchard Donuts. The smiles on the kiddos faces and the appreciation from parents was priceless.

Books from Brek impacts hundreds of lives each year at Crisis Nursery!



"Knowing that Luria, Max, and Rylan will have everything they need provided for them AND that they have fun, takes away some of that guilt I sometimes feel in asking for help. Our favorite things about Crisis Nursery are the caring people and the Books from Brek we receive. The books give us an opportunity to learn and grow together as a family. Crisis Nursery really is making a difference in our community and they are making a difference in my life.”

- Alaina, a mom of three


"Having the option of giving Books from Brek to a family during COVID, was heartwarming on so many levels. It gave the parents books to read with their kiddo - when bonding experiences were potentially limited!"
- Dana Kelly, Family Specialist

"Giving out Books from Brek (pandemic or not) is my favorite item to give! The families are SO grateful and really appreciate the variety."
- Taylor Wallis, Family Specialist

24-Hour Crisis Line