“It has and always will be about being a dad trying to connect with his daughter in a challenging world.”

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When Dr. Chris Yandle's daughter Addison started fourth grade in 2017, it was at her fourth school in five years.

"It was the product of our constant moving while I was chasing career dreams in college sports," Chris, who now works in public relations, told Southern Living.

At that point, the family had just moved back home to Mandeville, Louisiana, to focus on providing stability for Addison and her brother Jackson. Chris had a feeling the school year wouldn't be easy.

Dr. Chris Yandle family with daughter Addison
Credit: Dr. Chris Yandle

"As someone who moved around a lot as a kid, I knew her first year of middle school would be tough," he explained. So, he began writing her motivational notes and slipping them into her lunch box each day.

His first note said the following:

"At first, I wrote them on actual sandwich bags as I was making her lunch," Chris said. "They then were written on Post-it pads when she stopped asking me to make her lunch!"

He also shared photos of each note on Twitter using the hashtag #DadLunchNotes. It wasn't long before his inspiring messages amassed quite a following, landing him appearances on Today and The Kelly Clarkson Show. In 2018 he published a book about the experience called Lucky Enough.

Dad Lunch Note
Dad Lunch Note
Left: Credit: Dr. Chris Yandle
Right: Credit: Dr. Chris Yandle

"Whether I sell 1,000 books or zero books, the intent of this was never to gain fame or make money," Chris said. "It has and always will be about being a dad trying to connect with his daughter in a challenging world. I want to give my kids the knowledge and advice my wife Ashleigh and I didn't have growing up. I'll always be my kids' biggest cheerleaders."

In June, on Addison's last day of seventh grade, Chris wrote her lunch note number 691. By the end of her eighth-grade year, he will have written her more than 800 notes.  And he's just getting started.

"I will continue to write to Addison throughout high school and even into college—whether she likes it or not!" he said.