Grandmother, stranger she accidentally invited to Thanksgiving in 2016 planning 6th holiday together

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

In 2016, Wanda Dench sent a text message to whom she thought was 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 told NBC affiliate KPNX at the time.

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, both 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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