my fave thing

My Favorite Pittsburgh Thing To Do With Kids: Robyn Gross

Robyn Gross and her husband Tim juggle their busy careers to keep up with their two daughters’ calendars.

Madelyn, 13, and Isabell, 10, play softball year-round.

Both Robyn, a chemical engineer with Alcoa, and Tim, a claims team manager with Liberty Mutual, frequently travel, adding to the pressure.

But that crazy schedule doesn’t stop the Cranberry family from spending quality time together.

“One of my favorite things to do in Pittsburgh with my children is volunteering throughout the city,” Robyn says. “It is a great way to explore the city, have fun and, I believe, a way to teach my children to give back and make an impact.”

Among their volunteer activities, Robyn and Madelyn enjoy the Sew-Ins coordinated through United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Women’s Leadership Council. Mom and daughter’s enthusiasm led to recruiting others.

“We were able to bring Madelyn’s softball team to participate, including several other moms,” Robyn says. “There were different roles, and the girls quickly identified their strengths and weaknesses and combined efforts to make several blankets, which are donated to veterans, women’s shelters and others in partnership with the Home Lost Project organization.”

It’s a favorite thing to do, Robyn says, because “we are able to give back to our community while having fun as a group.”

Their family time together, while limited, is so valuable, she says.

“I believe it builds self-esteem in children, especially girls, and provides an opportunity for children to share what is going on in their lives willingly.”