Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench are keeping their Thanksgiving tradition going strong. For the eighth year celebration, they even added a chair at the table thanks to a partnership with Airbnb.
Jamal Hinton And Wanda Dench Added A Chair To The Thanksgiving Dinner This Year
Each year since 2016 when Dench, 66, accidentally texted Hinton, 24, an invitation to Thanksgiving thinking she was texting her grandson, the two have spent the holiday together. Their unlikely friendship brings joy to so many people who have been following their story since the beginning.
This year, to change things up a bit, the two partnered with Airbnb to invite a stranger to their Thanksgiving table and shared a photo on social media so everyone following their story could be a part of the excitement.
“Our year 8 selfie ? Thanks for staying with us, Arseni, and for being part of the good in the world this holiday season #airbnbpartner,” Hinton captioned the selfie of him, Dench and their new friend on Instagram.
Dench and Hinton partnered with Airbnb to invite a guest to book a stay at Dench’s house in Prescott, Arizona and join them for their holiday dinner. It was listed on the Airbnb website that the stay is for one-night, November 20, and only cost $16 to commemorate the year the two began their Thanksgiving tradition.
While no other information was given about their Airbnb guest and how the visit went, the selfie tells a story all itself with three smiling faces. Social media users who have been following this heartwarming journey left their thoughts in the comment section.
“Every year the universe heals itself in many ways. This is one of them. Balance restored,” one person wrote. Another added, “If there’s one single thing I look forward to every year it’s this.”
Many people thanked them for continuing to share their story so everyone can follow along, and others simply commented how much they love to see their updates.
“Love this tradition. I look forward to this post every year. It brings so many of us hope and joy,” one person wrote. “Thank you for bringing the love and light,” wrote another.
Airbnb shared a clip of their holiday meal together on Instagram captioned, “Wanda and Jamal’s Thanksgiving tradition started with an accidental text. For year 8, they made an extra plate for their first Airbnb guest.”
“I would love for the whole world to share what we have shared,” Dench is heard saying in the clip. “Ok, hold on, I’m gonna get emotional.”
Later in the clip she says, “Family doesn’t have to be blood relatives. It’s who you choose in your life.”
“This is, and always will be, one of the greatest stories ever,” one person wrote in the comments. Another added, “My favorite Thanksgiving story.”
An Accidental Text In 2016 Brought Wanda Dench And Jamal Hinton Together As Family
A text that was meant for Dench’s grandson started a friendship that turned into family in 2016. Dench thought she was texting one of her grandsons about Thanksgiving dinner, but it ended up being Hinton.
After a little text exchange back and forth, Hinton asked, “Can I still get a plate tho?” and she replied, “Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do…feed everyone.” And so their story began.
While they keep the tradition going year after year, a few things have changed since their first Thanksgiving together. Sadly, Dench’s husband Lonnie died in 2020 due to COVID-19. The two still got together that year to honor Lonnie. A happy addition to their annual holiday dinner is Hinton’s girlfriend Mikaela who now joins them each year at the dinner table.
The two don’t only keep in touch around Thanksgiving. They meet up other times during the year and have had some exciting new things going on too.
Earlier this year, Hinton announced that he and Dench have gone from family to business partners when they launched an alkaline black water called BlackMP. They also competed on a game show together and there’s been talk about a possible Netflix movie about their amazing journey from strangers to family.