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3 Years After Grandma Accidentally Texts Stranger to Come to Thanksgiving, The Pair Reunites Again


Oh, Thanksgiving. It’s the one holiday of the year that doesn’t require gifts, tests your patience with your least favorite family members, and involves stuffing your face before slipping into a slight coma to rest up before the craziness of the Christmas season.

In making preparations for the feasting frenzy back in 2016, one grandma’s text message to the wrong teenager took the internet by storm.

Jamal Hinton was a 17-year-old Phoenix resident who, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, received a detailed text message that outlined his family’s Turkey Day celebrations. The plans included family members “Amanda” and “Justin.”

The only trouble was that it wasn’t his family!

Confused about how he got roped into the plans, Jamal asked who these people were. The sender then identified herself as “your grandma,” and the texts that followed are PURE entertainment!

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At first, Jamal thought it might be his grandma. Still confused, he asked her to send a picture to make sure.


Well, that’s awkward…


Jamal laughed and responded with his own selfie to assure “Your Grandma” (also known as Wanda Dench) that she’d reached out to the wrong grandson. But not before requesting a seat at the table with Justin and Amanda!

Dench’s response was that of an experienced grandmother:


“Of course you can,” Dench replied. “That’s what grandmas do…feed everyone.”

And so two strangers shared a meal that changed the trajectory of their Thanksgiving plans for every year to come.

The welcoming Arizona grandma was happy to invite Hinton to her home for Thanksgiving in 2017 and 2018 as well. And for 2019, Hinton and his girlfriend Mikaela are returning the favor by inviting Dench and her husband to their family’s celebration.

“Mikaela, his girlfriend, invited us over to her aunt’s house for Thanksgiving, and I said yes before I even think she finished her sentence,” the 62-year-old grandmother told TODAY. “So I am excited to go to her aunt’s house and meet everybody and not have to cook.”

Hinton was equally excited to have his honorary grandma join him this year, as the two have formed quite the special bond over the past few years.

“The first dinner, I don’t think we really got to talk that much, because it was so much going on at the moment,” he told TODAY. “But after that, when we actually got to sit down and have dinner and get to know each other, it was actually pretty great.”

Dench and her husband, Lonnie, even go on double dates with Hinton and Mikaela on occasion.

As much as the two unlikely pals enjoy each other’s friendship, they’re even more fond of how their story has inspired others over the years.

“I love it,” said Hinton. “I love how people are coming together and seeing the good in this story, and how much the world loves it. It’s great vibes.”

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.