Jamal Hinton and “Grandma” Wanda Dench have spent Thanksgiving together for the seventh consecutive year after their accidental text exchange in 2016.
“Thanksgiving year 7! 🦃🖤,” Hinton wrote in a post shared on his Instagram account. “From year 1 as strangers, to year 7 as family but now BUSINESS PARTNERS! I’m very thankful for my family, friends, fans.”
The two currently seem to be involved promoting alkaline black water.
Seven years ago, the two went viral when Dench texted Hinton by accident, believing his number to be that of her grandson. Instead it was then-17-year-old Hinton, who informed her she had the wrong number. However, he still asked if he could come over for Thanksgiving dinner. “Of course you can,” she wrote. “That’s what grandma’s do… feed every one.” They later met up for real, and it become a heartwarming viral story that is getting a Netflix adaptation.
The two have managed to keep the tradition going ever since, even when the pandemic threatened to cancel their plans in 2020. Dench’s husband Lonnie died of COVID-19 in April 2020, and Hinton paid tribute to him in his 2020 Thanksgiving post. “This Thanksgiving, along with all the holidays coming up, aren’t going to be the same as past ones but we will make the best of it,” he wrote.
In an interview with AZ Family last year, Dench described their friendship as “wonderful” and said he helped change her views on the younger generation. “I didn’t change their life, they changed mine,” she said.