Grandma and stranger she accidentally invited to Thanksgiving share sweet photo of their fourth holiday together
By Danielle Garrand
/ CBS News
In 2016, an Arizona grandmother accidentally invited a stranger to Thanksgiving dinner and a heartwarming photo of the two celebrating the holiday went viral online. The pair has spent the day together every year since — and just posted a sweet snap from this year's celebrations on Twitter.
In 2016, Wanda Dench wanted to give her grandchildren advance notice of the year's Thanksgiving plans. She tried to send a text to her grandson, but a then-17-year-old high school student named Jamal Hinton received the invitation instead.
After the two Arizona natives realized the mishap, Hinton asked if he could still attend the celebration. Dench replied, "Of course you can. That's what grandmas do…feed everyone."
The teen was so tickled by Dench's response that he shared the exchange with his friends, and then posted it on social media. The photos quickly went viral and have accumulated over 46,000 retweets and 140,000 likes three years later.
Hinton took Dench up on her offer, and the two have celebrated Thanksgiving together every year since, snapping adorable photos each time to commemorate their friendship. Hinton, now 20 years old, tweeted a new picture of the duo this year alongside snaps from the previous years, writing, "As promised! Here's our 2019 update."
This year, Dench and her husband had dinner with Hinton and his girlfriend at the girlfriend's family's house, making the occasion extra special. "I'm more excited this year than any year before!" he told CBS News before Thanksgiving. "I'm happy to have her meet everyone."
"It was wonderful," Dench told CBS News after the holiday. "Loved their family. I'm so blessed to have made new friends. They have family dinner every Sunday and we've been invited to join."
Dench even made Hinton a scrapbook to commemorate all the years spent celebrating together. Hinton is seen opening up the book and pouring over photos of the pair in a four-minute long video he posted to YouTube chronicling the day.
"The first year I went I never would have thought we'd even stay in touch, but once we actually got to know each other I knew we'd be good friends," Hinton told CBS News. "I don't see any end in sight to be honest."
First published on December 1, 2019 / 10:54 PM
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