What started as a text message sent to a wrong phone number has led to a six-year-long Thanksgiving tradition now for a young man and his now 'adopted grandma'. While it's not Thanksgiving in Canada this week, we couldn't help but pass along this feel-good story.
In 2016 Wanda Dench of Mesa, Arizona, sent a text message to her grandson inviting him over for Thanksgiving dinner. The only problem was that her grandson had changed his phone number and didn't tell her. The message ended up in the inbox of Jamal Hinton while he was sitting in class at Desert Vista High School.
Initially, the messages were confusing for the pair, until they sent selfies to each other and realized the mistake. But the then-teenager asked if he could still come over. Dench, who is now 64, replied "Of course you can. That's what grandma's do...feed every one."
Somebody grandma is coming in clutch this year!! Ayee!!! pic.twitter.com/QGrx83nHLl— Jamal Hinton (@Jamalhinton12) November 15, 2016
The pair hit it off and an unexpected friendship was formed. They have had Thanksgiving dinner together every year since, and will once again this year.
Earlier this week Hinton tweeted that he was once again heading to the Dench house for their sixth Thanksgiving together. "We are all set for year 6!" he says in a tweet that shows a screenshot of this year's invite, along with another selfie, this time with Hinton and Dench and each of their partners.
We are all set for year 6! 🦃 pic.twitter.com/wEQioizWGd— Jamal Hinton (@Jamalhinton12) November 14, 2021
"It was so unexpected, but she was just so sweet about it," Hinton previously told PEOPLE about their bond.
"It was a reminder that there are still some good people left in this world. She is a very sweet lady, she told me her husband was a veteran and she always invited his friends over for dinner, so she's used to having a lot of people over. I just got a vibe from her that made me feel at home."
The grandmother says to NBC Nightly News that "I just clicked when I met him and first talked to him. I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I want to get to know this guy.'"