Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton, strangers prior to sharing a Thanksgiving meal at Dench's home on Thursday, plan to continue their friendship after its unlikely origin morphed into a viral tale of kindness.
When Dench sent out information about her Thanksgiving plans via text, she only intended to send it to family and friends. But this year, she also accidentally invited a wrong number that belonged to a teenager, who took her up on her offer.
Hinton, 17, received the invite and, after working out the confusion that Dench was not his grandmother, jokingly texted back, “Can I still get a plate tho?”
“Of course you can,” Dench wrote back. According to her, grandmothers are expected to feed everyone.
Their relationship has struck a chord with the country, which is experiencing increased political and racial tensions after a difficult presidential election.
“It gives me faith, a lot, in humanity because so many people have been kind,” Dench said.
The two have received a huge amount of feedback over the internet, as their story went viral and inspired people during the holiday.
Dench got emotional while reading a portion of an email she received.
“What we all need to do is love, spread kindness and break bread together,” the email said. “You remind me of my mother — she was a beautiful soul.”
When asked whether it was risky to go to a stranger’s house, Hinton grinned and nodded.
“Going to a stranger’s house? Yes,” he said. “I’m thinking the same exact thing.”
The two plan to continue their friendship, despite its unusual origin, as they are getting along so well.
“I just clicked when I met him and first talked to him,” Dench said. “Oh my gosh, I want to get to know this guy.”