From gorgeous gowns and sparkling rings to family and friends coming together to celebrate, the wedding industry is full of beauty, love and happiness. Mike Staff, owner of Mike Staff Productions, (and member of The Knot Ambassador Program!) and his team, feel so fortunate to be working in such an amazing uplifting industry.
Mike Staff and his team realized early on that everyone unfortunately doesn’t share their same fortune, so they created the “Heart To Serve” program, which is designed to help people less fortunate. Once we got wind of this incredible program, we had to know more! Check out our interview below:
The Knot: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.
Mike: I started out as a DJ in radio and a friend suggested I should try DJing weddings. I said, “Why? I’ve already got my dream job!” Then I tagged along on a few of his gigs and I instantly fell in love with the energy and excitement resulting from the music and people and I’ve never looked back. , Mike Staff Productions has now been in business for 20 years, and I’ve been a partner with The Knot from the very beginning.
The Knot: What do you love most about weddings?
Mike: Mike Staff Productions serves three different wedding categories: DJ’s, Photography, and Videography — so I get to work with passionate people who LOVE what they do and they get to share it with others; that’s what I love the most about weddings.
The Knot: How did “Heart To Serve” get started?
Mike: From the very beginning of Mike Staff Productions, we’ve always shared 10% of our profits to those in need. At first, it started off with just me donating and volunteering with different programs, and then more and more members of my team wanted to help out, too. . About 12 years ago, we decided to structure our volunteer work and call it “Heart To Serve” at Mike Staff Productions.
The Knot: What is the “Heart To Serve” challenge?
Mike: We love watching people light up from our volunteer work, so we decided to open it up to everyone. We quickly realized that people do want to help the less fortunate but they don’t necessarily have the money to help them, so we created the “Heart To Serve” challenge. We’re asking the simple question, If we were to give you $500 to use to help someone else, what would you do with the money?” People submit their ideas and tell us who they want to serve and why, and we give them $500 to fulfill their work!
The Knot: When was your first “Heart To Serve” challenge?
Mike: Our first challenge was in 2011 and we had 300 people submit ideas of how they’d help others. It was incredible to see how many people participated and each story truly touched us.
The Knot: How is this year’s challenge different from the previous one?
Mike: In 2011, we were only able to help 5 out of the 300 submissions, but this time we’re on a mission to help everyone. We will still pick the top 5 stories and give them $500, but we’ve created marketing materials and instructions for the rest of the submissions to help them kickstart their own GoFundMe.com campaigns… we’re so excited to see the results!
The Knot: How do you think “Heart To Serve” helps your business stand out against local competitors?
Mike: We find that millennials are more conscious of social needs, and they appreciate doing business with a company that has a social conscious. But to be honest, we’re not doing this to sell more weddings, we’re doing this to offer more opportunities to help others.