Actress Bonnie Hunt’s Brother and a Catholic Priest Are Saving Lives in Uganda

You likely know Bonnie Hunt from her years as a talk show host and from her roles in popular movies like “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “Jerry Maguire,” “The Green Mile,” “Return to Me,” “Cars,” “Dave” (“We’re walking, we’re walking”) and more. Well it turns out that Bonnie has a brother who is quite accomplished too, just in a different field.

Dr. Kevin Hunt practices Internal Medicine in Chicago and serves as a faculty member at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. In 2007, he took a trip to Northern Uganda with Father Samuel Okori, “a Catholic Ugandan priest and medical student studying for his medical degree in the United States.” As a result of that trip, MANU (Medical Aid to Northern Uganda) was born. The charity’s website explains:

Father Okori plans on retuning to Northern Uganda to practice medicine upon completion of his studies in the United States. The two spent two weeks treating hundreds of patients and performing a fact finding mission concerning the health care situation in Northern Uganda. The two worked mainly with the Catholic Lira Diocese health care system which works in collaboration with government to supplement health care to the needy in the villages in Northern Uganda. Having experienced first hand the overwhelming problems and challenges of health care in Northern Uganda, the duo conceived of the idea of starting a foundation to raise funds to address the many unmet health care needs in Northern Uganda. Therefore the foundation called ‘MANU’ meaning Medical Aid to Northern Uganda was established in Chicago in 2008 with the help of the prestigious law firm of Winston and Strawn.

The first priority of the foundation is to improve the present medical facilities and to provide adequate health services to the people of Northern Uganda. As a result of this endeavor, MANU is reaching out to the international community for help in terms of providing help to fund medical equipment, personnel and health care supplies to Northern Uganda.

The people of northern Uganda have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of the rebel activity of the LRA since1986 which has made the people victims of poverty, diseases, ignorance and the ravages of the guerilla warfare.

Our organization strongly believes that if the people are empowered to live transformed lives, lives free of poverty, lack of education, and disease, they must have access to the basics such as water, medicine, education and other forms of sustenance.

As reported on the MANU website, Dr. Hunt, MANU Board member and pharmacist Nicole Schreiner, and several volunteers will be traveling to Northern Uganda later this month to provide medical care to people around the Catholic Diocese of Lira. Their work and fundraising over the past several years has already provided many medical supplies to the people of Lira, and they’ve built a Radiology wing onto a hospital there. Now they’re trying to raise money for an X-Ray machine.

It’s obvious that Bonnie isn’t the only star in her family. Kudos to Dr. Kevin Hunt and Father Samuel Okori on being Christophers (Christ-bearers) to Uganda’s people in need. If you’d like to help out MANU, you can do that here.

For more background, here are two clips from “The Bonnie Hunt Show” from a few years ago that were posted on Facebook featuring Dr. Hunt and Father Okori discussing their work (plus it may be the only video you ever see of a priest sliding down a fireman’s pole):

h/t Lee Withers

About Tony Rossi

After graduating from St. John's University in New York with degrees in Communications and English, Tony Rossi found a job at the Catholic media organization, The Christophers, that allowed him to indulge his interest in religion, media, and pop culture. He served as The Christophers' TV producer for 11 years, and is currently the host and producer of the organization's radio show/podcast Christopher Closeup, writer and editor of their syndicated Light One Candle column, and producer/scriptwriter of the annual Christopher Awards ceremony.

  • SAM BYAMUKAMA

    I would like to get in touch with Father Samuel Okori. I am a biomedical engineer based in kampala, Uganda and I will be happy to offer technical support where necessary. E.g. installation including site planning and pre-installation requirements.


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