For the sixth year in a row, Jamal Hinton will attend a Thanksgiving dinner with a grandmother who mistakenly sent him an invitation.
Arizona grandmother Wanda Dench will host a dinner featuring his unexpected guest six years ago. From the looks of it, this will now become a Thanksgiving tradition between them.
RELATED: Post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 Surge
Thanksgiving Dinner Tradition Started Six Years Ago
Six years ago in 2016, Jama Hinton was a senior high school student sitting in class when he received a message from an unknown number.
Wanda Dench sent a message inviting his grandson to her Thanksgiving dinner. However, Hinton got the message instead.
Hinton then texted back, asking who sent the message. “Your grandma,” replied Dench. However, Hinton wasn’t sure if his grandmother was actually inviting him for dinner.
So he did the next best thing and asked for proof. “Can I have a picture?” Hinton replied. Dench found it strange that his grandson would ask for a picture. However, she dutifully took one and sent it.
‘You Not My Grandma’
Hinton saw the picture and noted the difference between their appearance. Dench is white. Hinton is Black. “You not my grandma,” Hinton said. However, he’s not one to pass up an invitation. He humorously added a question: “Can I still get a plate tho?”
Meanwhile, Dench initially felt embarrassed for sending an invite to the wrong person. However, she quickly composed herself and gladly accepted Hinton’s request. “Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do … feed everyone.”
Text Exchange Went Viral On Twitter
Hinton found the exchange funny and touching at the same time. He took a screenshot and posted it on Twitter. That’s when things blew up. Users found the exchange adorable and retweeted it over 150,000 times.
While Dench had no idea about what Hinton did, her phone began receiving messages of support from all over. Hinton forgot to erase Dench’s phone number from the screenshot.
As a result, she began receiving calls and messages from people she doesn’t know. Consequently, Dench had to get a new number.
Thanksgiving Dinner With Hinton Ever Since
Ever since Hinton would come to visit Dench during the holidays and join her for Thanksgiving dinner. Last year, he brought his girlfriend with him, even as Dench celebrated the season with a missing person at the table. Her husband, Lonnie, died of COVID last year.
Despite the loss, Dench powered through and continued the tradition with Jamal despite the pandemic. “I knew it was going to be tough.
I knew it was going to be tough with COVID, social distancing, quarantines, masks. Jamal and I were talking about it,” she said. So, they decided to limit the gathering last year.
This Year, Grandma Is Going All Out
This year, grandma is going all out. She said she’s preparing a turkey, ham, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, and assorted fixings for 12 people.
Hinton will be there with his girlfriend, Mikaela. Now 21, Hinton is a successful salesman of water-softener systems. Dench said she is as proud as a grandmother could be, she said.
The unexpected inclusion of Hinton into her life brought great pleasure to her and to Lonnie. “To meet someone as special as he is, the friendship we have developed is priceless,” she said.
Watch the WTVR CBS 6 video recalling the story between Wanda Dench and her wrong invitation to Jamal Hinton to attend her Thanksgiving dinner:
Happy Thanksgiving! What do you think of the story between Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench? Do you find this Thanksgiving story inspiring?
Share with us your special Thanksgiving stories and wishes. Leave your posts below.