Viral strangers Wanda Dench, Jamal Hinton to spend 7th Thanksgiving together

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Viral strangers Wanda Dench, Jamal Hinton to spend 7th Thanksgiving together

Their Thanksgiving tradition is sweeter than candied yams.

An Arizona teenager who was accidentally invited to Turkey Day dinner by an elderly stranger in 2016 will spend the holiday with the kind-hearted grandma for the seventh year in a row, he said this week.

Wanda Dench, 65, of Mesa, didn’t know her grandson had changed his cellphone number when she fired off an invitation that popped up on Jamal Hinton’s phone in November of that year.

The then-17-year-old, who lived a couple towns away, sent her back a message with a laughing emoji saying, “You not my grandma. Can I still get a plate though?”

Dench replied, “Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do … feed everyone.”

Hinton, now 23, has taken her up on it every year since — and will feast with her once again on Thursday, he said.

Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton.
Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton have spent every Thanksgiving together since her accidental invite.
Instagram/Jamal Hinton
A mistakenly sent text message led the pair to develop a friendship and holiday tradition.
A mistakenly sent text message led the pair to develop a friendship and holiday tradition.
Jamal Hinton

“To answer all your questions, yes Thanksgiving year 7 is planned out! See you guys Thursday!” Hinton posted on Instagram, along with a photo of himself and Dench.

The shot shows the unlikely friends standing outside The Cheesecake Factory restaurant with Hinton’s arm around the grinning granny.

The story first warmed hearts in when Hinton tweeted an image of their text message exchange. It went viral along with a photo off the pals eating Thanksgiving dinner together with Dench’s husband in November 2016.

As a part of their tradition, Hinton has posted a photo of himself with his “second family” every year since.

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