Jamal Hinton Spends Eighth Thanksgiving With Viral ‘Grandma’ Who Invited Him for Dinner by Mistake

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Jamal Hinton and “Grandma” Wanda Dench spent their eighth consecutive Thanksgiving together after their viral accidental text exchange brought them together in 2016.

In a post shared through both of their Instagram accounts, as seen above, they shared, “Our year 8 selfie… Thanks for staying with us, Arseni, and for being part of the good in the world this holiday season.” The pair have been keeping up their tradition of Thanksgiving dinner together ever since Dench accidentally texted Hinton in 2016, but this year they were joined by a guest who tagged along as part of a partnership with Airbnb.

Ahead of their Thanksgiving meetup this year, the duo announced they would co-host a stay at Dench’s Arizona home with Airbnb on Monday, Nov. 20. As part of the arrangement, the guest would also be able to play board games, watch movies, and cozy up by the fire with either hot cocoa or cider. Priced at only $16, the stay was offered up to anyone who could make it. Airbnb also made a one-time donation to Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the country, in an effort to further the goal of creating a country where no one goes without food. 

For those unfamiliar with the story of Hinton and Dench, the two went viral in 2016 when Hinton shared a text message exchange between them where she asked if he would be coming to Thanksgiving dinner. She intended to invite her grandson over and they exchanged pictures. He famously asked if her if he could get a plate anyway, and she replied, “That’s what grandmas do… feed everyone.” They have kept the tradition going every year since.