Volunteers welcome commuters back to work as part of Chicago Returns Week

Returning to working in the office is an adjustment, getting dressed, traveling there, being around others — that’s why volunteers cheered on commuters Wednesday at the CTA station in the Thompson Center in the Loop.

They say life is a marathon, to be celebrated.

Volunteers held signs with slogans of humor and encouragement. 

They cheered and handed out water bottles as if they were supporting a foot race, while spreading good will.


They applauded CTA commuters for doing a routine thing, going to work, which hasn’t been entirely experienced by everyone during the pandemic. 

Just like a marathon, it starts with one step.

The cheers were inspired by the Amy Krouse Rosenthal Foundation, named for a local woman who died of ovarian cancer but celebrated each day of living. 

Years ago, she organized a similar "Welcome to Work" event that put smiles on commuters’ faces.

Prizes are being given to encourage people to return to work. Post on social media using the hashtag #ChicagoReturns and you could win cash, trips and other prizes, this week through Friday.