Thanksgiving tradition continues for strangers who connected through text

MESA, Ariz. — For a sixth year, Jamal Hinton plans to join Wanda Dench for Thanksgiving in Arizona. It’s a tradition that started with a mistake, but turned into much more.

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In 2016, Dench mistakenly texted Hinton while trying to reach her grandson to talk about Thanksgiving plans. Hinton wound up invited to Thanksgiving that year, and each year after. The story went viral, catching the attention of people around the world, according to KNXV.

On Sunday, Jamal tweeted screenshots of his conversation with Wanda, confirming he would be returning for Thanksgiving.

This will be the second year without Wanda’s husband Lonnie. CNN reported Lonnie passed away from complications caused by COVID-19 on April 5, 2020.