Gilbert dad crusades against youth drug use - East Valley Tribune: News

Gilbert dad crusades against youth drug use

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Posted: Friday, December 26, 2008 7:27 pm | Updated: 9:36 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Joe Terborg was just 8 years old when he started smoking marijuana. Both his mother and father were drug addicts and alcoholics, and Terborg followed in their footsteps, he said.

He began using cocaine and methamphetamine, and started dealing drugs.

Terborg's life was spiraling out of control.

Then, after his second stint in prison, Terborg started attending services with Prison Ministries.

He found God and started turning his life around.

Terborg became an ordained minister and got nine maintenance college degrees in the Florence prison, including degrees in plumbing, building maintenance and electrical.

Terborg says he has been clean and sober for four years now, and attends church regularly.

"I consider myself a warrior of God," said Terborg, a Gilbert resident and a member of Living Word Bible Church in Mesa. "I just believe that I'm here to serve Him."

In an effort to counsel fathers to help their children not go down the same path he did, Terborg started the Dads Against Meth Use, or DAMU. He came up with the idea in prison.

"The idea is to get dads aware of what their kids are doing," said Terborg, 43, whose son is a senior at Mesquite High School. "Dads need to get in tune with their kids' lives. They need to know what music they're listening to, what their favorite movies are, and what's on their bedroom walls."

The motto for Dads Against Meth Use is, "Don't incarcerate them! Educate them!"

As a rocker and tattoo artist, he also started Beyond Our Recognition of God, or BORG, to deliver metal music with a message, Terborg said.

To give back, he started raffling off tattoos at his concerts and giving the proceeds to Child Crisis Center in Mesa. The center is an emergency shelter and safe haven, and many of the children come from families suffering from drug problems.

Pam Godfrey, the community relations manager with the Child Crisis Center, said Terborg is "really committed to our cause."

"We really appreciate his assistance, especially with the economy the way it is the needs for our services really increase," Godfrey said. "Donations have also been down. We really appreciate any help we can get from the community."

Along with an estimated $1,000 Terborg has donated to the Child Crisis Center over the past year, he said he wants to give more.

Terborg and his girlfriend of four years, Ginger Brunson, have organized a Valentine's Day music and art expo at the Mesa Convention Center. The proceeds will be donated to the Child Crisis Center, and the hope is to bring awareness to the community, Terborg said.

"As a community we need to start stepping up," Terborg said. "We need to find other things for kids to do so they don't go down the same path I did."

The two are looking for sponsors, vendors, donations and student artists looking to display their work for the February event.

Terborg is in the process of getting a nonprofit status for his foundation, and plans to launch the foundation at the Mesa expo. Terborg said he wants to bring his word to schools, concert tours and kid outings to help children and dads.

"I hope to grow the organization into a national campaign," Terborg said.

Brunson said she's not surprised by how Terborg turned his life around.

"Joe has always had this spark of life," Brunson said. "He was always meant to do something special."

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