Acts of Kindness
Man picks up ‘wrong number’ call from stranger and it turns into 20-year friendship
Gladys accidentally kept calling Mike's number. But instead of hanging up - he sparked up a conversation with the stranger who lived 1,300 miles away.
Elijah Chan
12.02.21

What are the chances of making a friend through a wrong number?

As technology keeps on evolving every year, older people can’t help but be left behind. This gap between the younger ones and the older ones becomes more apparent when slip-ups happen here and there.

Pexels - Anna Shvets
Source:
Pexels - Anna Shvets

Wrong comment boxes on social media, wrong website, or wrong emails recipient. We’ve seen them all. But what’s astonishing is how some people get together when these mistakes happen.

Gladys Hankerson was calling her sister in Maryland.

Or at least she was trying too. It was the early 2000’s and the Delray Beach resident picked up the phone and dialed her sister.

Pexels - Pixabay
Source:
Pexels - Pixabay

Her sister’s area code was 410, but Hankerson kept on dialing something else. She was putting in 401 instead.

Her call ended up miles away in Rhode Island.

On the other end of the line, Mike Moffitt answered.

YouTube Screenshot - ABC News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - ABC News

“I was raised by my dad, you always answer your phone, you never know who it is,” Moffitt said to WPBF.

He shared to the news outlet that as soon as Hankerson realized her mistake, she apologized and hung up.

The calls never stopped, though.

Moffitt said that the same thing happened a couple of times that day. Then the same thing next week, then the month after that.

YouTube Screenshot - ABC News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - ABC News

And every time Hankerson dialed, Moffitt kept on answering. Until finally, Moffitt asked her what was happening.

“Finally I just grabbed it and said, ‘Wait wait wait before you go, who are you, where are you from, what are you trying to do,’ and we started talking,” Moffitt said to WPBF.

It was the start of their friendship.

“I told him, ‘I’m sorry, I was trying to call my sister,’ and he said, ‘This is Mike,’ and I said, ‘My son passed away,’ and he said, ‘I’m so sorry.’ and he talked real nice to me and I talked real nice to him, and after that, I had his phone number and I put it down on paper and I always called him,” Hankerson said to the news outlet.

Unsplash - Vojtech Bruzek
Source:
Unsplash - Vojtech Bruzek

She was trying to reach her sister during a difficult time in her life. Instead, she found a stranger who cheered her up. She was just divorced and just lost a son, and through those days, Moffit answered the phone.

Since then, they’ve been exchanging occasional phone calls.

They went back and forth with their calls for 20 years. They lifted each other’s spirits even though they weren’t related and were living north and south.

YouTube Screenshot - ABC News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - ABC News

Through all of their encounters, they’d never seen each other. At least until Moffit and his family went to Florida.

Moffitt was struck with an idea.

“The reason we ended up meeting was because a drawbridge was up,” Moffitt said, quoted by People. “We waited 10-15 minutes at a drawbridge, and eventually decided to keep going. That’s when I realized we were 2 miles away from Gladys’ house.”

YouTube Screenshot - ABC News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - ABC News

They took a detour to Delray Beach where they grabbed some flowers and drove to the elderly lady’s house.

After 20 years, they finally laid eyes on the friend they had on the other side of the line.

“I walked in and said, ‘Gladys, it’s Mike from Rhode Island!’ and she said, ‘Oh, my friend Mike! I’m blessed,’ and threw her arms up,” Moffitt said.

YouTube Screenshot - ABC News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - ABC News

The reunion was filled with introductions, but it was also filled with stories, just like those they share over the phone. And from then on, Moffitt wasn’t just a friend anymore. For Hankerson, he’s family.

Watch how a wrong number ended up as a beautiful friendship in the video below!

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By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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