TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – The Salvation Army is hoping you’ll dig a little deeper into your pocketbook this holiday season. Donations through its white envelope and red kettle programs are down about 30 percent from last year.

“That’s significant,” Lt. Troy Cook said.  “We really need a miracle to happen this Christmas.”

Food and toy donations look good, but it is cash donations that are down – and it’s those cash donations that enable The Salvation Army to offer its services to the community.

We really need a miracle to happen this Christmas," says Lt. Troy Cook. "We really need cash donations. That's where we are struggling.

“We really need cash donations,” he said. “That’s where we are struggling.”

Cook said if enough money isn’t raised this season the organization could facing some layoffs. He also would like to hire a youth director, but without the money that won’t be possible.

“We really need a $200,000 Christmas in order for us to do all the things we’d like to do and keep our services,” he said. The organization raises usually between $100,000 and $150,000 during the holidays, but with a donation drop of 30 percent – “that’s technically one position,” he said.

A big donor would be a welcome relief, Cook said, as would the smaller donations at the red kettles.

Robin McCombs, a courtesy clerk at Smith's grocery store in Twin Falls, rings the traditional holiday bell for The Salvation Army's red kettle program on Friday morning, Dec. 2, at the store. (Photo by Andrew Weeks)

On Friday at Smith’s Food and Drug, employees were taking turns manning the kettle outside the store.

“We’ve had quite a few donations this morning,” said clerk Robin McCombs, who was dressed for the below freezing temperatures Friday morning. “I came out about 10 a.m. and people started coming with their donations.”

As McCombs rang the traditional bell outside the store, moving to holiday music that sounded from nearby speakers, customers going into and out of the store stopped to drop of change in the kettle.

“Thank you,” she said. “We appreciate your donation.”

Cook said any and all donations are appreciated and welcome. If you’d like to do more than donating to The Salvation Army’s red kettles and white envelopes, call the office at 733-8720.

Volunteers will man the red kettles at various locations throughout the city until Christmas. The last day you’ll hear the bells ring for the season is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 24.

“Then we’ll leave people alone,” Cook said with a smile, “at least for a few days.”