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Arizona grandma and man she mistakenly texted in 2016 host 8th Thanksgiving with new stranger

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Two strangers who went viral in 2016 after an accidental text led to a Thanksgiving dinner invite gathered yet again to share turkey and togetherness.

This year, Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton partnered with Airbnb to invite another stranger to their eighth Thanksgiving celebration.

“That’s a wrap on Thanksgiving year 8!” Hinton posted on X along with a selfie of himself, Dench and the man who purchased the $16 Airbnb booking. 

“Thankful for the connections we made hosting our first @airbnb guest.”

ARIZONA GRANDMOTHER AND THE STRANGER SHE MISTAKENLY TEXTED IN 2016 WILL CELEBRATE 8TH THANKSGIVING TOGETHER

Dench recently told Fox 10 Phoenix that she and Hinton thought it would be “a great idea” to have a new stranger attend their Thanksgiving 2023 celebration.

She said she hoped “it would catch on” and that “he’d have a good experience — and then maybe he’d invite a stranger to his next Thanksgiving. You know, a ripple effect.”

The holiday story first gained national attention nearly a decade ago, when Dench accidentally texted Hinton an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner. 

THANKSGIVING DAY ‘DRAFT’ GETS LOVE ON TIKTOK AS FAMILY REVEALS HOW THEY ASSIGN HOLIDAY DUTIES

She’d meant to send the message to her grandson — but somehow it was received by a then 17-year-old Hinton.

Jamal Hinton Wanda Dench thanksgiving text

Jamal Hinton (left) and Wanda Dench have not missed celebrating a Thanksgiving holiday together since 2016.  (Fox 10 Phoenix)

Hinton told Fox 10 Phoenix that he knew right away it wasn’t his own grandmother who texted him, since she doesn’t send text messages.

“She doesn’t know how to work her phone at all,” Hinton said.

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After an exchange of selfies, the two solidified that the text was a mistake — but Dench invited Hinton to Thanksgiving anyway. The duo haven’t missed a holiday since.

Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton

This year, the pair joined forces with Airbnb to open Dench’s home to other people who want to share in the Thanksgiving tradition. “Exciting news, guys — our Thanksgiving year 8 plans are with you!” Hinton shared on X, along with a photo of himself alongside Dench. A room had been listed on Airbnb; it was in Dench’s home, located in Prescott Valley, Arizona. (Credit Thomas Ingersoll)

Many Americans have watched the story unfold over the years as Hinton continues posting on X about his lasting friendship with Dench.

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“He taught me that you can have friendship with the most unlikely people,” Dench told Fox 10 Phoenix.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.


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