EDITOR'S NOTE: Standard-Examiner visual journalist Dylan Brown is in the Philippines with the Utah-based Philippine Improvement Group on an aid mission to the nation following the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
MADRIDEJOS, Philippines -- Under a sign that read, "Please Help Us!! I need your help!," were three children sleeping on a wooden crate.
Their mother was selling dried fish, called tuyo -- a staple of the Filipino diet. Each morning a member of the family takes their small boat into the sea and casts a fishing net.
For many of these families, tuyo is their only means of income.
Following Typhoon Haiyan, some of these families no longer have the ability to fish because their boats were destroyed in the storm.
The families have resorted to begging.
The Philippine Improvement Group walked the streets of Madridejos on Wednesday and Thursday using their group-strength to give hope to such struggling families.
They couldn't rebuild boats, but they could use their strength in numbers, 16, to help lift palm trees from homes, tear down damaged roofs and clear courtyards of debris.
One woman and her family were clearly grateful.
She said, "I'm happy," when asked in tagalog what it meant to her to receive foreign support.
As soon as her courtyard was cleared of a palm tree, a collapsed wall and several pieces of a roof, her mother began to sweep the dirt yard of the remaining trash.
People from neighboring homes began to swarm the streets to watch in awe as the Philippine Improvement Group strained in the heat, working together to clear rubble from the woman's home.
Brandon Allen said, "I just talked to someone who said, 'You guys are different than most Americans because you come help clean stuff. You know, most people come and just give money. You guys come and help clean up our houses. You guys come and interact with us and make us feel good again.' It was interesting to hear that."
Chase Saxton, from Roy, practically threw out his back chainsawing through countless trees -- the wind from the storm snapped palm trees at their bases and flung them onto homes.
Other members of the group suffered minor cuts and bruises and one person stepped on a nail.
Brenen Sidwell, from Cedar Hills, Utah, hopes the group leaves the Filipinos with a sense of hope.
If 16 people can come together and do so much, imagine what the Filipino people could do if they came together, he said.
The group's efforts didn't come easily, though.
One woman told Jessica Atkinson, of Salt Lake City, "Of course I feel horrible, that's my house," while members of the group were tearing off the remaining damaged roof from her home. Only half of the corrugated metal was providing shelter from the rain.
"I don't know what we are going to use for shelter," she continued through tears.
The woman, who didn't provide her name, said her husband is suffering from asthma and her daughter is a massage therapist, whose work has been very slow since the typhoon.
They seem to be able to look through these tough times, though.
"They give us their best side," said Atkinson. "They say their life improves when we arrive."
NEXT: Dylan Brown and the Philippine Improvement Group continue their work in the typhoon area. Stay tuned for more stories, videos and photos of their trip.