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This teenager accidentally got an invite to ‘grandma’s’ Thanksgiving dinner. He’s coming back for a 6th year

This heartwarming duo gets together again for good food and great conversations

Thanksgiving prices could be high.
A heartwarming duo gets together again for good food and great conversations.
Illustration by Zoe Peterson, Deseret News

In 2016, Wanda Dench sent a Thanksgiving dinner invitation to her grandson. But she messaged the wrong number which belonged to Jamal Hinton, a high school student at the time.

“You’re not my grandma,” Hinton wrote back. “Can I still get a plate tho?”

“Of course you can,” Dench replied. “That’s what grandma’s do...feed every one.”

And this was the start of a special friendship between Dench and Hinton.

Since then, they’ve spent every Thanksgiving dinner together. “Grandma Wanda” sent Hinton another invite this year, according to Hinton’s Twitter post.

This year, Hinton’s girlfriend is also invited “to share good food and great conversation,” according to the text exchange signed off with, “your friend always, Wanda.”

Hinton warmly accepted the invitation and discussed logistics. He took to social media to convey his excitement: “We are all set for year 6!”

The exchange between this heartwarming duo has gone viral, time and again, because it reminds us what Thanksgiving is all about: generosity and gratitude.

Their friendship is deeper than what the internet has witnessed. Dench’s husband died from COVID-19 last year and Hinton was there for her. In May, he gathered videos from people around the world who wanted to send their condolences to Dench, according to The Guardian.

When Thanksgiving rolled around last year, Hinton shared a picture of them holding a framed photo of Lonnie.

On Instagram, he wrote: “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. Rest In Peace to Lonnie and everyone else we lost this year we will miss you greatly. Thank you for being in our lives.”