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Blue Jackets team up with local organizations for annual "Day of Service"

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

On the ice, the Blue Jackets are pretty good at teaming up as a group of 20 each night and working to earn two points in the standings.

Off the ice, they're committed to doing their part in the central Ohio community and especially so during the holiday season. One of their many charitable endeavors each year is a "day of service," where the team splits into two groups and spends time with local organizations in an effort to make a difference in the lives of those in need.

Two of the Blue Jackets' prime partners in this regard - the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank - welcomed 25 professional hockey players into their space on Monday, and they were quite excited to have some extra help during a busy time of the year.

"It's what the holidays are all about," defenseman Jack Johnson said.

PHOTO GALLERY: 2014 #CBJ DAY OF SERVICE

At the Furniture Bank, the players were responsible for the construction of several different items that will be put to use by local families in need. From the ground up, they created items like shelving, dressers and nightstands under the watchful eye of the team at the Furniture Bank, which was founded in 1998 by Columbus resident Jeff Hay.

The Furniture Bank's mission is "to provide free furniture to central Ohio families and individuals struggling with poverty and other severe life challenges."

At the Mid-Ohio Foodbank in Grove City, the players worked in the "clean room" organizing hundreds upon hundreds of packages of frozen meat, sorting by category and then into boxes to be sent out across central Ohio.

Brandon Dubinsky spent the afternoon bringing products from the storage area in to be sorted, broke down boxes and kept the group going with words of support delivered as only he could.

Sergei Bobrovsky and Adam Cracknell were on the boxing crew, making sure the beef, poultry and pork were properly sorted before hitting the carts and then out the door.

"Whenever you can help somebody out, it's awesome," said Blue Jackets forward Corey Tropp, part of the team sanding, sawing and assembling at the Furniture Bank. "We're very fortunate, and it's awesome that we can come out (here) and give back."

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