Grandma, accidental invitee celebrate 6th Thanksgiving


PHOENIX, Ariz. (WIAT) – What started as a text to the wrong number has become a tradition six years running.

In 2016, Wanda Dench sent a text message to the phone that she thought belonged to her grandson about his Thanksgiving plans. In reality, Dench had accidentally texted Jamal Hinton, who was 17 at the time. He jokingly asked if he could come along anyway.

“I said sure you can. That’s what grandmas do — they feed everybody,” Dench said.

After Hinton posted the text message on Twitter, the story went viral, and a holiday tradition was born.

This week, Hinton confirmed that he and Dench were getting ready to spend their sixth Thanksgiving together at her home in Mesa, Arizona.

Last year, Dench and her husband, Lonnie, were diagnosed with COVID-19. While Dench recovered, her husband died due to complications from pneumonia and the virus.

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