PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — KOIN’s 2023 Remarkable Woman is continuing her mission of helping children dealing with big changes. Her 11th illustrated book is about to come out and a recurring character is now to get hugs from kids.
Sara Olsher’s soon-to-be-released book is similarly themed to her previous 10. They all focus on helping children through difficult times and all feature Mia with her friend, Stuart the Giraffe.
But Stuart is a “weird looking giraffe,” Olsher told KOIN 6 News. “He was based on my daughter’s lovey when she was little. He was a giraffe with no neck. Kids love that about him. He’s Stuart, not just your regular giraffe.”
Since she last spoke with KOIN 6 News in the spring when she was named KOIN’s Remarkable Woman for 2023, Sara Olsher helped Stuart come to life in the form of a stuffed animal, which is sold on her Mighty and Bright website.
“He comes with this little book of his own and it positions him as an anxious little guy,” she said. “And he needs somebody who can make him feel better when he’s nervous.”
She created the business of Mighty and Bright around helping kids deal with anxiety and tough topics such as divorce and cancer after both affected her own life.
When her daughter Charlie was 2, Sara was going through a bad divorce. Charlie had anxiety over when she would see each parent and Sara came up with a magnet and organizing system.
“Little kids need things explained to them because even though they can’t really speak, they understand way more than we give them credit for,” she said.
Shortly after, Sara found out she had cancer.
“I remember she went in the car,” her daughter Charlie said. “She was crying and she said she had cancer and I was really scared. And then she wrote that book and it really helped.”
“I was trying to figure out a way to make that easier for her,” Sara said, “and it turned into a whole business.”
Not only does she have her 11th book coming out and a Stuart stuffy, she also has a TikTok partnership.
Sara already donates books to children’s hospitals around the country. Stuart has found his way to many of those kids as they fight the toughest battles of their lives.
“Especially pediatric cancer patients, they love him,” she said. “But with some of the kids with the emotion books, I get letters from them — and they all love Stuart.”