Arizona grandmother who invited wrong teen for Thanksgiving dinner in 2016 just had him over for third year in a row
Wanda Dench had first invited Jamal Hinton to a Thanksgiving dinner in 2016 by mistake, but is now good friends with the teen and just had him over for the third year running
What started as an innocent case of mistaken identity has now evolved into a Thanksgiving tradition for 19-year-old Jamal Hinton and a story that has brightened the days of hundreds of thousands of social media users who have kept a close tab on it.
Before Thanksgiving 2016, grandmother Wanda Dench from Mesa, Arizona, wanted to send a group text message to a few family members to invite them over to her residence for dinner on Thanksgiving Day. However, one of her grandsons had changed his numbers a few months before and forgotten to update Dench, resulting in the grandma sending out an invitation to the then-17-year-old Valley high schooler Hinton.
Somebody grandma is coming in clutch this year!! Ayee!!! pic.twitter.com/QGrx83nHLl— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) 15 November 2016
In their conversation, screenshots of which Hinton posted on his Twitter account which garnered internet fame, Dench can be seen asking her "grandson" to pop over for a visit that Thanksgiving. Hinton, confused, asked who was texting him, with a subsequent selfie exchange confirming that the grandma had reached out to the wrong person.
However, the teen continues the conversation and asks if he can still have a plate at her home, to which Dench wholeheartedly replies, "Of course you can...That's what grandmas do...feed everyone." She would end up keeping her end of the deal, with pictures of the pair sharing a dinner becoming the talk of the town.
According to the Arizona Republic, their friendship would blossom from there, with the pair chatting with each other at least once a week. "For him to continue with the relationship, I'm just really pleasantly surprised," Dench said. "We're more of extended family and, best of all, friends."
Hinton was equally pleased with the new friendship. "I'd never seen her before and she welcomed me into her home," he was quoted saying by the Daily Mail. "That shows me how great of a person she is, I'm thankful for people like that."
He would make it to the grandma's home again in 2017, and Dench gladly welcomed him back. "It was really nice having everybody here," she revealed.
"We got to laugh about last year and reminisce about how it all blew up on our phone and how I had to change my number. We had a laugh and a good time."
At the time, Dench reportedly offered Hinton a "standing invitation" for any Thanksgiving dinner going forward and it looks as though the teen will continue to honor the invitation and what's turning out to be a new tradition.
Hinton once again confirmed he had made his way to Dench's residence this year, posting a tweet accompanied with pictures of his most recent visit, as well as his past two visits. He posted the snaps with a minimal but poignant caption, "2016, 2017... 2018." In the comment section, he also promised he would soon be uploading a Q&A video he filmed with the grandma and her husband.