By Dave Isbell

If you have been on Facebook in the past few days, you have seen some variation of this challenge:

“I’m excited to play a part in the 2013 creative pay-it-forward on Facebook!  I will send a fun surprise to the first 5 people who comment on this status. Maybe a book…or a yummy treat… The catch is, if you comment on my status, you must post the same on your wall and pay-it-forward. Ready. Set. Go!”

I love it! I have committed to my five Facebook friends already. What I’d like to do is extend this to you, my Spartan family.

The first five people who comment on this blog post (either in the comments section or on our twitter feed: ) will receive some kind of Spartan-themed gift sometime this year from me. (But you can’t be one of my Facebook 5- you know who you are!)

The only catch is that you each need to promise me that you will find five Spartans to pay some act of kindness this year. (I’ll hold you at your word with a digital pinky promise that you are going to do it. After all, if you can’t trust a Spartan’s word, what can you trust?)

If you want to tell your pay it forward stories here, just let me know and I’m happy to see if we can publish them.



Within 10 minutes, I had my five Spartan responses. But why should paying it forward stop there? Get on Twitter and blow this thing up by RTing my post; Like it or forward it on our Facebook page; Or reply to the comments in our linked in group!

Congrats to Stacie, Stephanie, Carole, Navneet, and Jo for being my Spartan five. I look forward to surprising you with some Green and White later this year, and I hope to hear your stories about paying it forward to other Spartans! Go Green!


Dave Isbell is the Alumni Career Service Coordinator at Michigan State University. He has been a Career Coach since 1999. He is also pursuing a Master’s in Social Work/Family Studies at MSU. When he is not working or studying, he is enjoying domestic bliss with his wife and kids, or playing rock music on his bass guitar. You can find him on Twitter (@helpingspartans) and sometimes he writes about compassion, collaboration, and career for this blog, which he owns and begs other Spartans to write for.



  1. Molly Ziske 7 January, 2013 at 11:17

    I pride myself on being able to find anything, but can’t find you on facebook. What am I doing wrong???

  2. Stephanie Howell 4 January, 2013 at 14:32

    I really love this idea and whether or not I’m one of the five, I’m going to pay it forward to five Spartants regardless. Thanks for the idea!

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