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This is a Thanksgiving tradition that continues.


For the sixth year in a row, Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton are together again on Thanksgiving. They were first linked after a casual text message invitation to dinner. Since then the whole world has fallen in love with his story.

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related: Incorrect text leads to unexpected Thanksgiving dinner

For Dench and Hinton, it doesn’t seem like that much time has passed. They continue to invite people to their home on Thanksgiving because they want to share the story of their love and friendship during this special time of year.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” Dench said.

“She’s an amazing person. She’s the best,” Hinton said.

Story that started in 2016

It all started six years ago, when Dench sent Hinton a casual text saying, ‘Thanks at my house.’ Hinton asked who it was. And Dench replied, ‘Your grandmother.’

While the Dench are not Hinton’s grandmother, they basically became family anyway.

“I didn’t expect it,” Hinton said. “I didn’t even expect to come. It was all a joke at first.”

“He came over, and it was like, ‘Wow, I was so blessed and didn’t know it at the time,'” Dench said.

Dench and Hinton have had Thanksgiving dinner together in 2016 and every year since. Meanwhile, their relationship has grown into more than just a once-a-year holiday get-together.

“Now, we feel like we can talk about everything and anything. It’s been amazing,” Hinton said.

“I always felt like from the moment I met Jamal, it felt like I’d known him in another lifetime or something,” Dench said.

Things were a little different in 2020, when Dench’s husband Lonnie passed away after battling COVID-19.

related: Husband of woman who started casual Thanksgiving tradition dies fighting COVID-19

Although it will never be the same, they keep the tradition strong.

“Me and Wanda will always be friends,” Hinton said.

“I see him now more than some of my family members!” Dench said.

Every year, this story spreads like wildfire on social media, and it has turned out to be a very busy holiday for them, as they do all their interviews and fit in time with their families too.

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