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Young man who was accidentally invited to ‘grandma’s’ Thanksgiving as a teen keeps tradition going

Nov 16, 2021, 12:37 PM
Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench will enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together for a sixth year after an acci...
Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench will enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together for a sixth year after an accidental text. (Courtesy Jamal Hinton)
(Courtesy Jamal Hinton)

(CNN) — After an accidental Thanksgiving invite in 2016 introduced Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench, they are still going strong.

The two first met in 2016 when Dench, from Mesa, Arizona, sent a text inviting Hinton over for dinner. It was meant for her grandson, who had changed his phone number. Instead, Hinton got the message while sitting in class at Desert Vista High School.

The two figured out the mistake, then sent selfies to each other, with Hinton asking if he could still come over. Dench texted, “Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do … feed everyone.”

Hinton took to Twitter to tell followers that the two are still celebrating the day together.

“We are all set for year 6!” he wrote, alongside a picture of a text message from Dench inviting him, his girlfriend Mikaela and his family over. He also included a photo of himself, Dench, Mikaela and Dench’s late husband Lonnie, who died in April 2020 after a battle with COVID-19.

Hinton has documented the holiday each year on his social media. In 2019, he shared a snap, writing, “Blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives.”

After Dench’s husband died, they still be spent the holiday together,

“This Thanksgiving, along with all the holidays coming up, aren’t going to be the same as past ones but we will make the best of it,” Hinton wrote in a post last year. “Rest In Peace to Lonnie and everyone else we lost this year we will miss you greatly. Thank you for being in our lives.”


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Young man who was accidentally invited to ‘grandma’s’ Thanksgiving as a teen keeps tradition going