DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) — Millikin University is showing new students a culture of service is built on hard work — and a little play.

"It's a cool opportunity to get immersed in the Decatur culture," said freshman Darcy Reimler. "I know it would be really fun to come back and volunteer here because this is what I did back home."

In a few weeks, Reimler will be up to her neck in homework, tests and performances. But this musical theatre major wants something more out of her college experience — something she saw a glimpse of during Millikin's Day of Action.

The day falls during the week of freshman orientation, bringing new students together to help out local nonprofits and organizations — like the Decatur Family YMCA.

But it's not just the freshmen. Upperclassman mentors help guide the new students and show them what it means to be part of the Big Blue.

"There's so many things that they can do to get involved and volunteer," said mentor Madeleine Erdmann.

For organizations like the YMCA, it also serves as a critical introduction to potential volunteers.

"Anytime someone wants to come volunteer, we encourage that," said YMCA youth development director Jacqui Hupp. "It's a good introduction to let them see the Y itself as [a newcomer] to the community."

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