Way to Go Epi and Gaby!

Left to right: Gabrielle and Epiphany Ramirez are the dynamic duo behind the creation of Eye Partners Inspire.
Left to right: Gabrielle and Epiphany Ramirez are the dynamic duo behind the creation of Eye Partners Inspire.

There have been two epiphanies in the lives of Gabrielle and Epiphany Ramirez, both of which are connected. It is truly difficult to find the two sisters separated, many peers know them better as the dynamic duo: ‘Epi ’n Gaby.’ The first epiphany is actually the younger sister Epiphany, or Epi as she prefers.

Epi was born with ocular albinism, which is the lack of pigment in the eyes. She was diagnosed as legally blind, but after surgery and many pairs of glasses she is no longer considered blind.

Since Epi and the rest of the members of the Ramirez family wear eyeglasses, the sisters quickly learned the high cost associated with eyewear. As a result, the second epiphany appeared in their lives: the creation of Eye Partners Inspire (E.P.I.).

Eye Partners Inspire is a non-profit foundation and its main vision is to provide eyeglass frames to disadvantaged Long Island residents. The girls collect used eyeglasses, clean them, and then redistribute the eyeglass frames to many of their neighbors. Epi and Gaby do not ship collected eyeglasses overseas because they understand the high need for quality eyeglasses among low-income Long Islanders.

As of now, Eye Partners Inspire has held two successful events: one at St. Hugh of Lincoln in Huntington Station and the second at St. Luke in Brentwood. Collectively, E.P.I. has donated over 225 eyeglass frames to Long Island residents. The group has saved these neighbors an estimated $22,500 (based on average retail price of $100 per frame).

After their first successful year, Epi and Gaby are very optimistic for Eye Partners Inspire's future. Recently the two sisters were interviewed by Huntington Patch, (http://patch.com/new-york/huntington/sisters-high-school-launch-nonprofit-serve-community-0). The girls are currently working on launching a new Eye Partners Inspire program: “Give the Gift of Better Vision.” The premise includes providing full eyeglass packages (eye exams, lenses, and frames) to Long Island children for the holidays.

Way to Go Epi and Gaby!

For more information regarding this exceptional foundation please visit the EPI website: www.epilongisland.org.