Carrie Goodwin and Dick Kleinau

Carrie Goodwin and Dick Kleinau

Special Kids was founded in 1998 by a nurse named Carrie Goodwin. Carrie worked in an outpatient facility and saw children with special needs being turned away from services when insurance ran out and their families could not pay. Carrie saw a different answer.

Carrie began envisioning a facility where special needs and medically fragile children would not be turned away because of a family’s inability to pay. Instead, they would be embraced with Christian love and healing arms.

Soon, Carrie’s father, Dick Kleinau, captured her vision of such a place. Kleinau had witnessed firsthand the financial sufferings the family of a child with special needs experiences-his own grandson had special needs. Kleinau and The Christy Houston Foundation in Rutherford County put forth the funds that enabled Carrie to build a facility and open the doors debt free. In September 1998, with the support of the community and volunteers, Special Kids, Inc. opened its doors to the children.

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