This grandma accidentally invited a teenager to Thanksgiving in 2016, now it's a tradition.

The Thanksgiving holiday means a lot of different things to people. It could be football, a celebration of chill autumn vibes, praising a deity, gluttony, family, or giving back to those who are less fortunate.

For many, it also represents people of all walks of life coming together in gratitude. Something that America needs a lot more of in these politically and racially-divided times.

Although there are many myths surrounding the first “Thanksgiving” in 1621, it’s believed that the pilgrims and the Wampanog tribe — two groups that couldn’t be more different — came together and enjoyed a feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest.


For the past three years, an unlikely guest has been coming to the Dench family Thanksgiving celebration in Arizona, Jamal Hinton.

Hinton was invited to the Dench celebration three years ago after Wanda Dench accidentally sent then 17-year-old Hinton a text meant for her grandson.

via Jamal Hinton

Jamal Hinton

via Jamal Hinton

After the two realized the text was in error, Hinton jokingly texted back, “Can I still get a plate tho?” and Dench responded, “Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do.”

Hinton accepted the invite, stopped by Dench’s Thanksgiving feast and the story went viral. The idea of strangers of different races opening their doors and hearts to one another was especially powerful after the racially-charged 2016 election.

During the dinner, Dench and Hinton struck up a meaningful friendship.

“I just clicked when I met him and first talked to him,” Dench told NBC News in 2016. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to get to know this guy,’ ” she said. “It gives me faith, a lot, in humanity because so many people have been kind.”

But their relationship didn’t end there.

Hinton was invited back for Thanksgiving in 2017 and he brought his girlfriend, Mikela, along with him.

And on Thanksgiving 2018, Hinton happily tweeted that he was back at the Dench house enjoying Thanksgiving once again with his girlfriend.

After three years, Dench and Hinton’s relationship is the perfect example of why Thanksgiving is so important. When someone opens their door and heart to  a stranger, it can be the beginning of a relationship that lasts forever.

Please pass the gravy … and a tissue.

True

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday are teaming up to find the people who lead with love everyday.

Know someone in your neighborhood who's known for their optimistic attitude, commitment to bettering their community and always leading with love? Tell us about them for the chance to win a $2,000 grant to keep doing good in their community.

Nomination ends November 22, 2020

via Brittany Kinley / Facebook

Brittany Kinley, a mother from Mansfield, Texas, had a hilarious mom fail her and she's chalking it up to being just another crazy thing that happened in 2020.

When Kinley filled out the order form for her son Mason's kindergarten class pictures, there was an option to have his name engraved into the photos. But Kinley wasn't interested in having her son's name on the photos so she wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" on the box.

Well, it appears as though she should have left the box blank because the computer or incredibly literal human that designed the photographs wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" where mason's name should be.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
via Richard Desmick / TikTok

Over the weekend, an estimated thousands of people ran 2.23 miles to show their support for Ahmaud Arbery, a former high school football player and avid jogger. Arbery was shot and killed in February near Brunswick, Georgia after being pursued in a truck by a former policeman and his son who claimed he resembled someone responsible for break-ins in the neighborhood.

Keep Reading Show less
via UDOT / Facebook

In December 2018, The Utah Department of Transportation opened the largest wildlife overpass in the state, spanning 320 by 50 feet across all six lanes of Interstate 80.

Its construction was intended to make traveling through the I-80 corridor in Summit County safer for motorists and the local wildlife.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that there were over 100 animal incidents on the interstate since 2016, giving the stretch of highway the unfortunate nickname of "Slaughter Row."

Keep Reading Show less