What's a book bomb? It's when a large enough group of people all buy a book on the same day to affect Amazon's sales rank for that book, bumping it onto the front pages of their sites. This broadens awareness of the book, further increasing sales.
If a book bomb seems too gimicky, and if direct contributions aren't your thing, there is another way you can help. Use either the Nightingale or Million Dollar Outlines link to take you to Amazon. Then surf around and buy stuff you were planning to buy anyway. A portion of what you spend -- typically between 6% and 8% of the pre-shipping total -- is credited to Dave Wolverton's Amazon Affiliate's account. That may not seem like much, but if enough people do this, the account will quickly fill with thousands of helpful, much-needed dollars.
You've been very generous and supportive towards me so far this year. Until further notice, please use Dave's Amazon links rather than mine when shopping. My needs are currently met. My friend's needs are not.
Semi-related, but certainly timely: this article provides an excellent rule-of-thumb for responding to the grief of others. From the article itself:
"It works in all kinds of crises – medical, legal, even existential. It's the 'Ring Theory' of kvetching. The first rule is comfort in, dump out."
Summed up for you in this case: Draw a dot surrounded by concentric circles. Ben is at the center, the bulls-eye. Those closest to Ben are in the innermost ring. Their friends are in the next ring out. Friends-of-friends are further out. You, fair reader, may be five or perhaps six rings from Ben.
Applying the rule, if you have comfort to offer, that goes inward, toward Ben. If, on the other hand, you have kvetching to do, that goes out, away from Ben, and away from Dave.
Sandra shared this with me last night, and while it's not perfect, it's as good a rule-of-thumb as I've ever seen for these circumstances.