BRIDGEPORT — As with most Black Friday venues, there was a line waiting to get in when the doors opened 9 a.m. at the McGivney Center on the day after Thanksgiving.

The reward: free winter coats for kids. Hundreds of them.

“Try this one,” Lucknee Perdestin, urged his son, Migel, when the 11-year-old seemed ready to settle for a blue and green coat with sleeves that ended well above his wrists.

A bright orange coat in a larger size did the trick.

“See, it’s good now,” said Perdestin, moving on to admire the pink coat his daughter Elancia picked out.

Run by the Knights of Columbus International and the Connecticut State Council of the Knights of Columbus, the coat giveaway took place in seven locations across the state.

In addition to Bridgeport’s East End, coats were distributed in Stamford, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwich and Brooklyn.

Bridgeport is where the statewide effort began in 2012.

“Every year it gets bigger,” Ramon Jimenez, a Knights of Columbus member in charge of the Bridgeport giveaway, said two hours into the event, as the boxes of brand-new coats on either side of a gymnasium emptied.

Girls’ coats were to the right, boys’ to the left. A table for kids to try them on stood in the middle.

“We see the need. In the winter time, kids need coats,” said David Carrasquillo, president of the local Knights of Columbus council.

Most of the recipients live in the neighborhood. Some found out about the giveaway through Child Guidance and other social service agencies. A few were recent immigrants from Haiti and at least two families move from Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

“It’s great,” Ana Adab said. She has five kids and was able to get coats for each, except the baby.

While society pushes us to buy things on Black Friday, the Knights want to remember those who don’t have basic necessities that most of us take for granted,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson. “Our members are making sure that children have something essential — a coat — to help them stay warm during winter.”

Nationwide, the organization says it has distributed more than 400,000 new coats, and gave away 2,880 coats in Connecticut on Black Friday 2016.

The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization, claims nearly 1.9 million members worldwide.; twitter/lclambeck