Wanda Dench became a bit of an online sensation last year when she accidentally invited a teen for a Thanksgiving dinner. Even after she had learned she was texting the wrong person, she followed through on the invitation, warming the hearts of millions after the story was picked up by media, social and otherwise.
The teen, Jamal Hinton, 17, indeed came for the dinner and the two formed a bond through the experience. So much so, that this year Dench extended the invitation again and Hinton accepted, this time also bringing his girlfriend Mikaela Grubbs.
2016-2017 thanksgiving pic.twitter.com/CpIgr9KapA
— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) November 24, 2017
“It was really nice having everybody here,” Dench told The Arizona Republic on Saturday, Nov. 25. “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.”
The two have kept in contact, talking about once a week. They talk about Dench’s family and about Hinton’s plans for the future. He wants to got to a law school and become a sports agent.
“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.”
It all started with a text message Dench sent to her grandsons before Thanksgiving 2016. One of the grandsons changed his number and failed to inform his grandmother. And so the message landed in Hinton’s inbox.
He asked who was texting him and when Dench replied she was his “grandma” Hinton asked for her picture. She did.
“You not my grandma,” he replied, sending a picture of himself. “Can I still get a plate tho?”
“Of course you can,” she replied. “That’s what grandma’s do…feed every one.”
Somebody grandma is coming in clutch this year!! Ayee!!! pic.twitter.com/laXmX6rotA
— Certo Nego (@RonaldDoee) November 15, 2016
Conveniently, Dench lives in Mesa, Arizona, while Hinton lives in the neighboring Tempe, just east of Phoenix.
The texting conversation was posted on Twitter, where it turned viral with over 400,000 “likes” and over 200,000 retweets.
“The world is becoming a better place than it used to be,” Hinton said on Saturday. “I’m loving it. I love that you don’t have to know someone or know their background to be nice to them.”
And the cherry on the cake? He didn’t forget to bring a pumpkin pie this year.
Thank you for all the Love everyone! I really sit in bed and try to read every comment and Dm ?
— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) November 27, 2017
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