So today marks the first day of the World Cup 2014, and it's safe to say that everyone's just a bit excited. And while we'll be hosting BBQs and get-togethers with crates of beer and good company, what about stretching the good cheer and kicking the proverbial ball into the back of the charity net?

We all love to get excited about something and you can’t beat a little football banter now and again – but as much as we’re wondering what Welbeck’s injury will mean for the England squad, what about putting our energy and football chants into good use?

It might not be the first thing you think of when you think of the World Cup, but if you give a little, everyone wins.

Street Child World Cup

If you think of your childhood, you are probably taken back to playing on the streets with your pals. Whether it was a game of hide and seek, knock and run (we never did that obviously, because we’re angelic) or a kick-about with your mates, the streets were a good place to be.

But across the world, millions of kids live and work on the street and that’s no game.

Street Child World Cup, in association with Save the Children, is a global movement for street children to receive the protection, rehabilitation and opportunities that all children are entitled to.

In April 2014, over 230 former street children from 19 countries joined together in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a football tournament, festival of arts and a participatory conference for children’s rights. These children stand united for the rights of street children across the world and they are not alone. The campaign has had the support of Pope Francis, Prince Wills and several brilliant football players to boot (excuse the pun).

So if you’re willing to place a few quid on a sweepstake, why not put a few quid their way too.

The sweepstakes have begun

Talking of sweepstakes, everyone seems to be doing one – the Reason Digital one is in full swing already. But instead of putting the winnings towards a few pints in the pub, or what have you, maybe you could donate it?

In fact, why not take a look at the Sweepstake Kit.

The Sweepstake Kit, developed by Print industry agency, Real Ripple, gives any organisation the opportunity to set up a company sweepstake group for staff members, friends and family. It’s free, not-for-profit but what’s the catch?

“We’re asking users to please give at least 50% of their collections to the charity of their choice out of Teenage Cancer Trust, the St Bride Foundation and The Hospice of St Francis,” said Real Ripple Managing Director, Paul Warren.

So that’s a few pints for you and a nod to a good cause. Think of this one as a draw.Sweepstake Kit

Have a sing-song

Everyone’s a fan of a good football song, and while J.Lo will be shaking what her mama gave her alongside Pitbull with their rendition of the official song ‘We Are One (Ole Ola)’, have you had a listen to the alternative?

‘Football United the World’ is the brainchild of football fan and record producer Dan Weller and LostAlone frontman Steven Battelle. Released to mark the 2014 World Cup, the track features a star studded cast of UK and international rock bands, with proceeds going to Street Child World Cup.

But is it any good?

Actually – it’s a bit like a Eurovision song, you don’t expect to like it but then you’re singing it constantly. It’s a little like Kerrang had a love-child with a beach party in Brazil. I might have it on in the background as I write this.

But it’s fun and for charity.

You can pre-order and donate on the Football United the World site.

Just for fun

Hopefully we’ve given you a little something to mull over before the Brazil vs. Croatia kick-off tonight, but I’d like to end with two little pieces of web gold in the form of ‘How to look like you know loads about football: A beginner’s guide to the world cup awards’ (I’m now a football wizard) and the ‘Official World Cup Contract’ – request signatures with caution.

So, considering I drew Argentina in the Reason Digital sweepstakes, it looks like my charity of choice has a pretty decent chance of some funds coming their way soon…

Oh, and come on England!

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