Grandma and Teen Who Bonded Over an Accidental Text Reunite for Third Thanksgiving

Some holiday traditions just can't be broken

By McKenna Aiello Nov 23, 2018 9:57 PMTags
Wanda Dench, Jamal Hinton, Thanksgiving grandmaTwitter

Some holiday traditions just can't be broken. 

You might remember back in 2016 when Arizona-based grandmother Wanda Dench accidentally invited teenager Jamal Hinton to her family's Thanksgiving gathering, thinking she was corresponding with her own grandson. It didn't take long for their text exchange to go viral, and now three years later, the tight-knight pair are still bonding over the mishap. 

Jamal, now 19, commemorated his and Wanda's third annual reunion with a series of selfies from their first to most recent Thanksgiving celebration. The heartwarming snapshots have already amassed more than 400,000 likes and almost 100,000 retweets, proving this friendship truly is the gift that keeps on giving. 

For those unfamiliar with their origin story, it all started when Jamal received a wrong number text from Wanda. After exchanging selfies (and thus realizing they were in fact not related), Wanda still extended an invite to Jamal to Thanksgiving dinner, because in her words, "That's what grandmas do... feed everyone."

Stars Celebrate Thanksgiving 2018

And just like that, a beautiful friendship was born! 

"It was so unexpected, but she was just so sweet about it," he previously told People of the experience. "It was a reminder that there are still some good people left in this world."

Wanda (or Grandma Wanda as Jamal lovingly calls her) couldn't agree more. She explained to NBC News after their first Turkey Day together, "It gives me faith, a lot, in humanity because so many people have been kind."

Jamal and Wanda's friendship goes beyond just Thanksgiving, as the pair keep in touch throughout the rest of the year and even exchange Christmas presents. Jamal's girlfriend has also become an integral member of the yearly gathering, in addition to Wanda's hubby. 

Something tells us Ellen DeGeneres might have her next great segment in the works!